William Grant & Sons is pushing boundaries with the launch of two whiskies in Glenfiddich’s new Experimental series, including one finished in beer casks.
Glenfiddich IPA Experiment is the first single malt scotch to be finished in casks that previously held a bold IPA which was especially brewed for the experiment. With ABV of 43%, the extra maturation adds notes of zesty citrus and tangy hops.
Brian said: “The idea behind the Glenfiddich IPA Experiment was quite unusual but one we were passionate about – we wanted to really play with the flavours to see what we could create.
“Glenfiddich’s first whisky finished in IPA craft beer casks is testament to us challenging ourselves to produce something vibrant and unusual. The result is a liquid with a zesty citrus note followed by soft, sweet vanilla and a hint of fresh hops.
“The innovative flavour comes from carefully hand selecting the right malt whiskies to complement the extra hoppy notes.”
The other new expression is Project XX (pronounced “twenty”) which is a collaboration between Glenfiddich’s 20 brand ambassadors from 16 countries all over the world and malt master Brian Kinsman.
They brought together 20 single malts selected from across a warehouse at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown. After each expert had chosen a single cask, from aged malts matured in port pipes to ancient sherry butts and first-fill bourbon casks, Brian produced the final variant to reflect their individual tastes and interests, married together in a small-batch vatting and bottled at 47% ABV.
Brian said: “The final liquid was exceptional – and a special tribute to each individual cask the malts came from. It has the warm summer fruity character of a classic Glenfiddich but then its ‘multiple personalities’ are revealed as the flavours of candy floss, cinnamon spice, almonds and rich port tannins kick in with the odd hint of liquorice.”
Glenfiddich’s UK brand ambassador Mark Thomson, who was part of the collaboration, added: “There are only a few times in your ‘whisky life’ that you get to do something so creative as to develop a whisky that will eventually carry the Glenfiddich family name – Project XX is one of those rare moments.
“When the 20 Glenfiddich ambassadors from around the world gathered in Dufftown, they each had their own idea of what they wanted to add to the whisky. This led us all on a crusade to choose oak casks that reflected the consensus of the group.
“To witness Brian’s undeniable skill to marry them into something with deep concentrated flavours, yet with such unmistakable finesse and DNA of our distillery, was magical.”