Age: No age statement
Glenfiddich IPA Experiment was the first entry in Glenfiddich’s Experimental Series, a range of whiskies that is breaking new ground and is rightfully generating some buzz. Glenfiddich describes these whiskies as Single Malts that Rewrite the Rulebook. Of course, Glenfiddich has a history of writing its own rules, being the first company to successfully market single malts. Now drams such as Winter Storm and Fire & Cane are among the more unusual bottlings on the market, a tasteful reminder that distilling whisky doesn’t always have to be all about tradition. And surely, no distiller had dared to mature whisky in an ex-IPA casks before either. The oak in question comes from the Speyside Craft Brewery, which uses ex-Glenfiddich casks to mature their IPA beer, before returning them to the distillery. It’s this symbiotic relationship that has allowed Glenfiddich to jump on the global popularity of IPA, extending those bitter, hoppy flavours to its normally fruity whisky. I’m a big fan of IPA beers, and when I first tried Glenfiddich IPA Experiment, I was so intrigued that I decided to create my very own Arran IPA Cask Finish. But I digress, let’s return to the matter at hand…
Colour: Pale gold
Nose: Malty, with aromas of fresh grain stalks and oatcakes. A rather herbal character unfolds, offering scents of juniper and rosemary. The hops provide an aromatic bitterness that compliments the zesty fragrance of white grapes and apple. Tantalising stuff!
Palate: Initially malty again, but then spice rears its head. A dash of white pepper combines with a sprinkle of nutmeg. Bitter and sweet battle for the limelight, serving up notes of honey, vanilla and charred oak.
Finish: Sharp, spicy and short. Although the finish is not as warming as I would’ve liked, the aftertaste of hops lingers for a long, long time.
Verdict: And that’s another experiment conducted, all in the name of science! So what’s my unscientific opinion of this dram? Well… it’s fun! These days, interesting has come to mean weird or even unpleasant, but Glenfiddich IPA Experiment is really just that: an interesting whisky that is more surprising than spectacular. As is often the case with Glenfiddich, the finish leaves something to be desired, but all in all this is a decent dram. I suggest you set the rulebook aside for a moment and give Glenfiddich IPA Experiment a try!