Glenfiddich, one of the world’s biggest whisky brands, made a bit of a splash recently by announcing a couple of new experimental whiskies in which they hope to ‘push the boundaries of Scotch whisky’. It’s actually very difficult to do new stuff with Scotch whisky, as it is the most heavily regulated drink in the world. Yet in a cluttered up market place, and with a desire to reach a younger audience (not to mention not putting an age statement on the bottle) there needs to be an interesting enough marketing hook to create some noise around it. Not to mention some good branding. I certainly think they’ve achieved that.
The result is two new whiskies. One is an IPA cask-finished single malt, and the other is an ambassador crowd-source whisky aimed the connoisseur. Glenfiddich IPA Experiment is a No Age Statement whisky finished for just 3 months in casks that had held an IPA beer created by the nearby Speyside Craft Brewery. The ale itself was created using British Challenger hops for its fruity flavours, and which would in theory go well with the Glenfiddich’s inherent fruitiness.
This is not the first whisky to be finished in an ale cask. Grant’s, like Glenfiddich owned by William Grant & Sons,released an Ale Cask whisky. And curiously there have been experiments with single malt finished in ale casks too.
The other whisky is the Glenfiddich Project XX. This one is a little more straightforward. It is made up of whiskies selected by the distillery’s 20 brand ambassadors, from a variety of different casks, which were then combined by master blender Brian Kinsman.
It’s clear where I stand on these. Not a fan of the IPA, even though it wasn’t a bad whisky, but liked Project XX a lot. I think the branding is excellent on all bottles, and the pricing is quite good too.
An elegant harmony of fresh green apple, William’s pear and spring blossom. Complimented with Aromatic hops and fresh herbs.
Vibrant with a zesty citrus note followed by creamy vanilla and a hint of fresh hops.
While Glenfiddich is a brand built on a legacy of craft and tradition.
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