Glenfiddich Project XX

Glenfiddich Project XX.jpg

I’d like to thank Glenfiddich for giving the Toronto Whisky Society a bottle of Glenfiddich Project XX to review. While we were given this bottle, please note that these reviews are my own, we keep 100% editorial power over them.

Glenfiddich Project XX is the second experiment, and I have to say, in comparison to the first, this is more elaborate.

So you have 20 whisky experts right? All from around the world (16 different countries represented). Some of them brand ambassadors, some of them are reviewers, and I’m assuming a few of them are just crazy.

Then pour them samples from a whole bunch of casks chosen from thousands of casks at Glenfiddich. Give them free reign to explore the warehouse and select casks. Make all of them sign NDAs, especially the crazy ones.

Then they have the final 20 casks chosen. What did they end up with? 1 port pipe, 2 sherry butts, and 17 bourbon barrels. I’m proud that the Canadian Brand Ambassador chose the port pipe.

At this point, Brian Kinsman, local malt master and part time frolf champion (Citation needed) was left to blend only using these barrels.

What was eventually bottled was Glenfiddich Project XX, which is pronounced “twenty”, for the 20 choosers, and not to denote taste.

It’s a pretty ballsy move. Granted they’ve added water to it, so I don’t know how it’ll work. Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?

Price: $99.95 CAD at the LCBO

Region: Speyside

Abv: 47%

Colour: 10YR 7/10

Nose: Grapefruit, honeycomb, butter, apple blossom

Very light nose. Handed this blind, I’d assume it was 40-43%. Glad they didn’t lower if further.

Lots of floral, honey notes. There’s some interesting mix of butter and apple/pastry notes. It’s faint though.

Taste: Raisin, anise, ginger tea, apple butter, peanut

Okay, less faint, more subtle now. The raisin is the only easy note in the whole thing. Oh, and maybe the anise. It’s quite subtle, and takes quite a long time to pick apart.

The apple butter note comes out of nowhere.

Finish: Clarified butter, cashew, cinnamon, apple cake

More butter, less complex than other Glenfiddich I have had. It’s nice, and the cashew and constant butter and apple notes are nice.

That said, I feel like I’m missing something here. It’s a nice dram, however I can’t quite put my finger on it (more in the conclusion).

Conclusion: Subtle. Quite subtle. Not weak, or simple. It’s far from those. It’s complex, however…

Okay, I congratulate Glenfiddich on letting whisky nerds go nuts in the warehouse. However they are tasting the whisky (presumably) at cask strength, and this isn’t at cask strength. So I think something was lost in the mix.

Kudos to Brian Kinsman for figuring out a hard to make blend, balancing the tastes of 20 people. That said, I think it was probably an uphill battle to sell this at 47%. I can taste that this was an argument behind closed doors.

It’s nice, and if you love subtle malts, go for it. Beyond that, it’s a miss for me (personally).


Scotch review #716, Speyside review #202, Whisky Network reviews #1182

5 thoughts on “Glenfiddich Project XX

  1. I was waiting for this one for a while, I think the concept behind it was really interesting, I wish we had more cask and age info (à la Balvenie TUN series). On the other hand I really enjoyed this release, I’ve only had two drams thus far but there is a pastry/bakery aromas on top of the typical Glenfiddich apples on the nose, I wish they bottled everything at this starting proof of 47%, it’s too bad you didn’t dig this one more.


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