Glenfiddich launches Experimental Series range of whiskies
Glenfiddich has launched the Glenfiddich Experimental Series, created from partnerships and collaborations, with the first two whiskies from the series unveiled in November.
The Glenfiddich IPA Experiment is the world’s first single malt Scotch whisky finished in India Pale Ale (IPA) craft beer casks. Glenfiddich malt master, Brian Kinsman created the Glenfiddich IPA Experiment in collaboration with a local Speyside craft brewer.
To create a new malt, the collaborators first designed and created a new IPA craft beer that went into whisky casks. The process involved creating three separate brews of different strengths and levels of hops. Kinsman seasoned up to nine American oak casks at a time with the IPA brews, varying the time the IPA craft beer spent penetrating into the oak casks, before filling the casks back up with whisky to assess the flavour profiles.
“The idea was quite unusual but one we were passionate about – we wanted to really play with the flavours to see what we could create. 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,” said Kinsman.
The second edition to the series, Project XX (pronounced ‘twenty’), is the result of collaboration between 20 whisky experts and Kinsman.
The whisky experts – from the US, Canada, France, Germany, Taiwan, China, South East Asia, Ukraine, Brazil, England, Scotland, Mexico, The Netherlands, South Korea, Russia and South Africa – each selected a cask form a warehouse at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown. The selected whiskies ranged from aged malts matured in port pipes to ancient sherry butts and first fill bourbon casks, which Kinsman then used to produce a single variant.
“Bucking the tradition of malt whisky being chosen and vatted by only a malt master, we set out to create an unpredictable whisky by involving 20 whisky experts in the process. The final liquid was exceptional – it has the warm summer fruity character of a classic Glenfiddich but then its ‘multiple personalities’ are revealed as the flavours of candyfloss, cinnamon spice, almonds and rich port tannins kick in with the odd hint of liquorice,” said Kinsman.
The Glenfiddich Experimental Series will launch from November 2016 in Australia and include a number of variants over time.