The Experimental Series is designed to inspire unusual and unexpected variants; it aims to combine “the brand’s passion for pushing Scotch Whisky boundaries” with “collaborating with trailblazers from the whisky world and beyond”.
The first of the launches is Glenfiddich IPA, which is the first single malt Scotch whisky finished in IPA craft beer casks. It was created by malt master Brian Kinsman in collaboration with a local Speyside craft brewer. The two worked together to pioneer a new single malt Scotch whisky imbued with citrus and tangy hops from the oak casks that had previously held a bold Speyside IPA. During this process the duo also created a new IPA craft beer.
Kinsman explained: “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.”
Meanwhile, the second launch, Project XX (pronounced ‘twenty’), has been created by 20 of the world’s greatest Glendfiddich experts. The expression is the collaboration between the 20 Glenfiddich Brand Ambassadors from 16 countries from all over the world, along with malt master Kinsman.
The ambassadors were invited to explore and each select a cask from a warehouse at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown, following which Kinsman aimed to create one single malt.
He said: “The final liquid was exceptional – and a special tribute to each individual cask the malts came from. The Glenfiddich Project XX we’re launching today is a recreation of that initial small vatting. 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.”
Mark Thompson, Glenfiddich’s UK brand ambassador, said: “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.”
The Glenfiddich IPA Experiment will be priced at £45 for 70cl while the Glenfiddich Project XX will be priced £50 for 70cl.