The Maverick Whisky Makers of Dufftown

Before this collab I believed the world of whisky to be stagnant. Yes, there are some amazing whiskies out there but none of the big brands really pushed the envelope on innovation. And then I read about the new creations by Glenfiddich.

This brand is probably one of the best-known whisky brands in the world. I know it as the first whisky I ever drank. I still recommend it to people who want to try a dram but don’t know where to start in the huge whisky world, very accessible and elegant whiskies.

The gents from the valley of the dear (the meaning of Glenfiddich) have really outdone themselves on this one by combining tradition with innovation. With this collaboration, they made the Glenfiddich Experimental Series earning them the name of Maverick Whisky Makers of Dufftown.

First one in this Series is the XX (‘twenty’) referring to 20 experts and the Malt Master (Brian Kinsman) who helped create this whisky by blending 20 special single malt whiskies into one. Regarding innovation not really a big deal to create a blend whisky. To do it with the help of 20 whisky experts from 16 different countries however, that’s unconventional to say the least.

The experts (who came from all over the globe) came together in the Glenfiddich distillery in Dufftown (Scotland) and each chose a whisky from the whisky stocks of the distillery. Come to think of it, must have been amazing on itself to go through 130 years of distilling history in search of the perfect dram.

As Brian Kinsman himself noted: “the 20 selected whiskies contain some of our most amazing whisky, specifically chosen for their taste pattern and rarity.

And what does this mean in taste? Well, they’ve created a whisky with aromas of summer fruit (the typical Glenfiddich fruitiness), cotton candy and a nice oaky vanilla touch. In addition, there are some hints of roasted almonds, cinnamon and a light touch of tannins. 
Pricing is now at 55 euros and can be found in the specialist liquor stores.

Besides this nice new whisky, they’ve also created something new: the first single malt scotch whisky ripened in IPA barrels. How insanely cool does that sound! Barrel aging for beer has been done in the craft brewers scene for some years, but to age whisky in IPA barrels is an innovation to say the least.

For this IPA edition Brian worked together with Seb Jones of Scotland’s Speyside Craft Brewery.  Together they first created an IPA with citrus hop tones and ripened it for 4 weeks in 9 American oak barrels. After that the Glenfiddich whisky gets a final IPA finish in the oak barrels. The beer from the barrel is a limited-edition Speyside Glenfiddich Brew Two IPA. still searching for it btw. ;-)

The whisky is once again summer fruit (think green apples and spring blossoms) with aromas of fresh green herbs and hop. In addition, you have a nice vanilla flavor from the oak. Glenfiddich recommends you adding a slice of blood orange to the whisky, haven’t tried that yet 
Pricing for this one is 53 euro and can also be found at specialist liquor stores.

Have you tried them before? What do you guys think about whisky aging through beer barrels? Let me know in the comments.

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