Whisky Review: Glenfiddich XX Experimental Series 02
- Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky
- Origin: Glenfiddich Distillery
- Bottling: William Grant & Sons
- ABV: 47%
- Cost: £48.95
What they say
Our second experiment of the series took place privately at our Conval warehouse. Shrouded in secrecy, malt Master Brian Kinsman invited 20 whisky experts from around the world to select any expression of their choosing from the thousands of stacked casks. The final 20 chosen malts, matured in everything from port pipes to virgin bourbon barrels, have created an unusual, innovative and unexpected whisky, one that has exceeded even our expectations.
“I wanted to create an unexpected whisky. Traditionally every malt whisky is chosen and vatted by one Malt Master to their taste, but what if there were 20 Malt Masters? It was an experiment in whisky personality.”‒ Malt Master Brian Kinsman
Not long ago, Brian Kinsman envisioned one of the most ambitious malt experiments in our 129-year history. The covert operation, (codename XX, pronounced twenty), invited 20 whisky experts from 16 countries around the world to our Distillery in Dufftown, Scotland. No one was told why they were there.
The whisky experts were led to our Conval Warehouse, an impressive building, home to 1000s of traditionally stacked casks. Each expert was given free reign to explore the warehouse and select any cask that intrigued them. It was a long task, but after searching every dark corner, each whisky expert made their final decision.
The final 20 malts represent some of the most astonishing whiskies under our care. From aged malts matured in port pipes to ancient sherry butts and virgin oak bourbon casks, each malt lent a unique personality to the final expression.
Brian married the 20 exceptional malts together, only releasing the final expression once he was completely happy with the liquid. But he was more than happy with the final result: this small batch vatting defied even his expectations.
Official tasting notes:
- Colour: Deep gold.
- Nose: Classic fruitiness with hints of apple blossom and plump pear. A perfect balance of rich vanilla oak with golden sugar and a touch of liquorice.
- Taste: Deep and mellow, the candyfloss sweetness is complemented by unusual notes of toasted almonds and cinnamon and a hint of crisp tannin.
- Finish: Long lasting with a savoured sweet oakiness.
What I say
The second in the Glenfiddich experiemental series sees twenty of their brand ambassadors select individual casks from the warehouse and the Glenfiddich Malt Master Brian Kinsman marry them together for the final release.
My tasting notes:
- Red/bronze copper (11/20) medium-sized tears with tapered legs medium-fine
- Nose: A mixture of bourbon and sherry, raisin on top of honeyed pears, tannic oak wood, red fruits, berries, vanilla, strawberries and cream
- Taste: Fruit & spice, dried spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, raisin, liquorice, thin bodied, polished toffee, caramel sauce on vanilla ice cream
- Finish: Drying, sherbet, oak wood and dry pear flesh/skin
Oh dear – just not right. Too much spice and vanilla, the bourbon and sherry casks are fighting in here and nobody wins. You can taste the quality of the individual whiskies within this but they are not better together…
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