I’d like to thank Glenfiddich for giving the Toronto Whisky Society a bottle of Glenfiddich IPA to review. While we were given this bottle, please note that these reviews are my own, we keep 100% editorial power over them.
I don’t like beer.
I know that sounds like I’m starting negatively, however give me a second.
So I like some porters and stouts. Why? Because one’s a cute long rat. However I also like the beer stout too. And that’s because they taste like coffee and chocolate, and fatty (me) loves his chocolate and coffee.
As such, when different companies take a whisky and finish it in a beer cask, I’m not their target. Thus when I was asked to review Glenfiddich IPA Experiment, I thought “Oh. We need a negative opinion then, right?”
Because as many of you know, IPA is about as far as one can get from a low hopped stout as possible. For one, one’s a weasel that doesn’t jump a lot.
This whisky is the first of the experimental series. They worked with Seb Jones to create a craft IPA (I’m to the point where all IPAs are craft now, even though I know that’s untrue, it feels like it should be) then used said IPA to season the casks, thus making the first single malt Scotch whisky to be finished in craft IPA casks.
So let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: $89.95 CAD at the LCBO
Colour: 5Y 8/8
Nose: Melon, caramel, ginger cake, apple
Okay, not a ton and ton of floral hoppiness. I’m already sold. Have a nice night everyone!
Oh, I probably should finish the review. Yeah, that’d be a good idea.
More fruit on the nose than I was expecting. Lots of spice and cake-like notes. The mixture of cooked grain and butter there. It’s odd. Very much an Autumn dram.
Taste: Apple, hops, ginger, oatmeal cookie, butter
Now we have some hops, however it’s more floral, and not that “Hey, we’re craft beer hipsters and we’re here to serve you liquified hops with hops added to make more hops”. More like a normal person’s hoppiness.
Still has that butter/fall baking taste. Which I’m a sucker for. Not quite pumpkin latte yoga pants levels here, more like a light amount of it.
Finish: Floral smoke, brine, nectarine, biscuit/oatmeal
Long finish. More floral than before, probably the most influenced by the IPA of the bunch, with more of the floral aspect taking over.
Conclusion: Quite the dram. I’m surprised, however given the experimentation that went into this, I’d expect no less from Glenfiddich.
Let’s be honest, if you make 3 different brews of IPA then test each of them, then hid 9 casks at a time in the warehouse to test how long the IPA should be in there, and then test how long the whisky should be in there on top of that, then the result should be good. And I can say it is.
It’s not overhopped, and doesn’t taste too much like a beer or too much like a whisky. It’s something different, with good aspects of each.
If you’re a fan of Autumn flavours, pick this up. It’s stronger than the strength would denote, it’s tasty. However if you’re buying this hoping for huge IPA flavours, it may not be what you’re looking for, so try before you buy.
Scotch review #715, Speyside review #201, Whisky Network reviews #1181