Glenfiddich Experimental Series IPA Cask

About Glenfiddich

The Glenfiddich Distillery

Glenfiddich is situated in the glen of the river Fiddich and is Gaelic for Valley of Deer – hence the
stag symbol on the bottles. Owned by William Grant & Sons, Glenfiddich was the first distillery to be built by Grant and his nine children (seven sons and two daughters)  in 1886. In just a year Grant and his children, with the help of a single stone mason, completed the distillery and production began on Christmas Day, 1887. Glenfiddich became so successful that in 1892 the Grants built the Balvenie distillery less than a mile away. Daughter Isabella married Charles Gordon, Glenfiddich’s first salesman who, in 1909, travelled the world and established distribution networks in thirty countries. Now Glenfiddich is sold in one hundred and eighty.

In 1923, grandson Grant Gordon joins the distillery. In spite of American prohibition being in full swing, Grant Gordon increased Glenfiddich’s production. This allowed Glenfiddich to meet the demand for fine, aged whisky following prohibitions repeal. Whilst being traditional Glenfiddich was also pioneering for the whisky industry. In 1957, Grant Gordon brought in the first on-site coppersmiths. In 1959, he established the distilleries cooperage – one of the few remaining to this day. In 1961, Glenfiddich reveals their iconic triangular bottle. In 1998, Glenfiddch’s fifth Malt Master creates the Solera Vat – now found throughout Scottish distilleries.

Glenfiddich Experimental Series IPA Cask

Late in 2016 Glenfiddich announced they would be pushing the boundaries of Scotch whisky by releasing a series of experimental bottlings. This began with them releasing IPA experiment and Project XX – a bottling consisting of 20 different casks chosen by the brand’s 20 global ambassadors! They intend to release a new experiment every year.

The IPA cask is a no age statement,  43% bottling that was finished in casks that contained a bespoke IPA created by Speyside Craft Brewery. The whisky was aged in ex-bourbon American Oak barrels. It was then removed, and beer added to the cask for 1 month. The beer was then removed and the whisky returned for an additional 3-4 months.

We also got to try the IPA that seasoned the cask of this whisky, called Brew Two as it was the champion of the three brews developed and tested by the distillery! This 6% challenger hop beer is not for sale. It’s easy to see why it was used in the barrels, it’s zesty and strong and holy hell is it bitter! That ought to have seasoned the cask perfectly. Next we want to try the beer after it has come out of the cask…

Many thanks to Steve at The Whisky Wire for this Tweet Tasting!

Glenfiddich IPA

Price: £44.95 (Master of Malt), £45.55 (The Whisky Exchange)

Nose: you can tell from nosing this dram that it’s going to be an interesting one. Initial hints of cereals, grass and a subtle orange zest are followed by sweet honey and caramel. It’s reminiscent of apple pie straight from the oven, but also makes us think of carrot cake, down to the creamy icing!

Palate: sweet and smooth! We get hints of melted butter just starting to burn, honey and pecan nuts. There is a certain maltiness to this whisky – it may be the power of suggestion but this is perhaps a little hoppy? You can taste the ex-bourbon casks and subtle suggestions of roasted pears and grilled pineapple.

Finish: a memorable, sharp finish, packed with the typical Glenfiddich citrus! There’s the fruity sharpness of oranges, mango and ripe grapefruit, as well as ginger and slightly softer hints of honey. Dried oak lingers long after the whisky is gone and, once again, it is perhaps a little hoppy!

Overall: Quite a dessert-y, summery dram! We would definitely consider buying a bottle for such a reasonable price. It’s a dram that’s got character.

We recommend that you try a serving of this dram with ice and a peel of blood orange! Their signature serve.

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