Glenfiddich IPA Experiment & Glenfiddich Project XX

Glenfiddich has launched the Glenfiddich Experimental Series, a move that sees the single malt whisky returning to their pioneering roots. As the first company to launch single malt whisky, use solera system and rum cask finishes, the birth of the Experimental Series is seen as a natural progression.

Glenfiddich IPA Experiment & Project XX

Three expressions make up the series which will eventually be under rotation. Two expressions will stay while one will be replaced. Glenfiddich IPA Experiment & Glenfiddich Project XX are the first two that were released while the third in the series is yet unknown.

Glenfiddich IPA Experiment Tasting Notes

Glenfiddich IPA Experiment is a No Age Statement whisky that has been finished for 12 weeks in casks that have held IPA beer. The beer was created by Seb Jones of Speyside Craft Brewery located near the distillery. Malt Master Brian Kinsman tried several brews before selecting a hoppy IPA beer with floral notes and some fruit character that would enhance the single malt’s citrus notes.

Incidentally, Glenfiddich IPA Experiment is not the first William Grant & Sons whisky to be finished in an ale cask. Grant’s launched the  Grant’s Ale Cask whisky back in 2012.

  • ABV: 43%
  • Age: NAS
  • Colour: dark gold
  • Nose: citrus upfront, mainly orange, honey sweetness and floral notes lead the way to mild hoppy aromas
  • Palate: zesty citrus notes along with vanilla and honey sweetness, some dark chocolate notes with a hop influence
  • Finish: a pleasant sipping dram with fresh hoppy notes on the finish

Overall, the IPA cask finish doesn’t add much intensity of flavour or complexity. It’s pleasant to sip in a boilermaker which is what one would expect the uptake to be. Another recommended serve is to serve it on ice with a slice of blood orange to complement and enhance the citrus notes.

Glenfiddich Project XX Tasting Notes

For Glenfiddich Project XX, (pronounced Project 20 not the letters xx), they invited 20 global brand ambassadors to select any whisky from one of the warehouses. The result was 17 bourbon barrels, 2 sherry butts and 1 port pipe. These were submitted to Malt Master Brian Kinsman who worked out the balance of each one to create Project XX in the perfect ratio.

  • ABV: 47%
  • Age: NAS, non-chill filtered
  • Colour: deep copper
  • Nose: initial soft aromas that don’t hint on flavour but opens up in the glass with vanilla, orange, dried apricots and raisins
  • Palate: complex dram with a viscous mouthfeel, a balance of sweetness with rich vanilla, oak, some toasted almonds, cinnamon spice, ripe red fruit, toffee, dark chocolate and some tannins
  • Finish: medium length but a rich, juicy and satisfying finish

Overall, a most impressive dram that far surpasses the Glenfiddich IPA Experiment. Glenfiddich recommend sipping it with a flake of salt on the rim of the glass or to accompany salty food such as prosciutto.

The whiskies retail at approximately $130 AUD for Glenfiddich IPA Experiment and $140 for Glenfiddich Project XX.

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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.