By Andy Young
The Glenfiddich Experimental Series has been designed to inspire unusual and unexpected variants and two of the first releases are on their way to Australia.
The Glenfiddich IPA Experiment and Glenfiddich Project XX are two unique whiskies that will be available to all good whisky retailers, nationwide, from next month.
The IPA is the world's first single malt Scotch whisky to be finished in India Pale Ale (IPA) craft beer casks and saw Glenfiddich malt master, Brian Kinsman, work with a Speyside craft brewer the right kind of IPA to influence the casks that would go on to hold the whisky.
Kinsman said: "The Experimental Series builds on Glenfiddich’s long tradition of innovation and takes us to new levels of experimentation in a way no distillery has ever done before. The new range combines our passion for pushing Scotch whisky boundaries and collaborating with trailblazers in the whisky world and beyond.
"We’re thrilled to announce the new Glenfiddich IPA Experiment variant, borne from our collaboration with a local Speyside craft brewer, and excited about the future possibilities with this Experimental Series.”
He added: “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.”
With Project XX the boundaries were pushed even further as it is the result of a collaboration between 20 whisky experts and Kinsman, who developed one unexpected, extraordinary whisky by bringing together 20 very special single malts.
The 20 experts from 16 countries were each invited to select a cask from the Glenfiddich warehouse, which Kinsman that skilfully blended together in a small batch vatting to create an "exceptional" liquid.
"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," Kinsman said. "The 20 whiskies selected include some of our most astonishing whiskies chosen for their taste profile and rarity, and it was an exciting challenge to marry them together in a way that did justice to the original sources."
He added: “The final liquid was exceptional – and a special tribute to each individual cask the malts came from. The Glenfiddich Project XX we’re launching 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 candyfloss, cinnamon spice, almonds and rich port tannins kick in with the odd hint of liquorice.”
The 43 per cent ABV Glenfiddich IPA has a $130 RRP and the 47 per cent ABV Project XX has a $140 RRP and both will be available as of November.