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22 Nov 2017 By

If You Only Buy One Adventurous Single Malt This Year, Buy These Two From The Glenfiddich Experimental Series.

If you are a classicist, a purist, or even an age-statement dogmatist, these new single malts from the Glenfiddich Experimental Series may not be for you. However, if you’re willing to suspend judgement and, like the Pevensie kids, be willing to walk into a wardrobe, you might be surprised at what you’ll find on the other side. (Spoiler, it’s not Narnia).

The new rnge pushes boundaries, and we’re lucky to check out two products at a single (malt) launch. 

IPA Experiment

Glenfiddich - Experimental Series, IPA Experiment Process Diagram JPEG

Procedure: Glenfiddich Malt Master Brian Kinsman engages a Speyside craft brewer > Brewer creates a big, bold, zesty IPA > the IPA goes into oak casks for a few months > the craft beer is bottled and single malt Scotch whisky is finished in said oak casks. 

Result: A whisky that has the obvious hoppy aromas of an IPA, with notes of green apple, vanilla and herbs. But it does have the lingering mouthfill of a single malt. The finish is, oddly, again of the IPA, which must have really enjoyed its time in the barrel and refuses to relent. 

Summary: The taste is fresh, and even more invigorating when served as a highball or just with one large rock. Experiment with a twist of blood orange. We think grapefruit slices might work too (and a dollop of red peppercorn).

Misc: The bottled IPA? Available in a craft beer bar in Speyside. (Fun fact: The beer’s ABV rose from 6% to 9% during maturation in the casks).

[ Our friends at Highest Spirits have more on Glenfiddich’s history ]

Project XX

Glenfiddich - Experimental Series, Project XX Process Diagram JPEG

Procedure: Brian Kinsman invited 20 whisky experts from around the world to Dufftown > the experts selected a cask from Glenfiddich’s warehouse > the 20-strong collection included aged malts matured in port pipes to ancient sherry butts and first fill bourbon casks > Kinsman skillfully married them all in a small batch vatting. Voila.

Result: A fruity single malt with hints of sugar and spice. It’s creamy, and you taste pears, honey, liquorice,and a very faint ashy minerality.

Summary: It’s a remarkable and daring experiment, as the whiskies selected were varied and not – as is tradition – picked by the malt master. The result is a fine balancing act that’s a showcase of skill and subtlety.

Misc: Add a dab of sea salt on your tongue before imbibing – to heighten the taste. Why not? They’ve already done the hard work. (The ‘XX’ means 20, btw).

The Experimental Series is only available in Asia Pacific Travel Retail.



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