Last Wednesday (12th April) I was involved in a tweet tasting with a difference, I was tasting the Glenfiddich IPA experimental series 01 expression. The difference was going to be that we were also getting the opportunity to try the actual IPA as well, something I generally don’t do as I’m not a big fan of beers etc.
First a little bit about the expression, this was a collaboration between Brian Kinsman and Seb Jones. With Brian wanting to find new ways to season the casks that Glenfiddich use. So after a meeting with Seb it wasn’t long before they had a plan to try and create a new Glenfiddich expression. The first step was to create a new craft IPA, this started with three different recipes using Centennial hops, Challenger hops and Cluster hops. With the three recipes made the experiment moved on to the seeing which one gave the best finish. Brew 2 the Challenger hops was decided to give the characteristics that Brian wanted for the expression. From there it was on to the producing the first batch, sending casks from Glenfiddich to the Speyside craft brewery for the chosen IPA to season the casks for four weeks. The casks were then sent back to Glenfiddich for the malt to be finished in them for twelve weeks. Resulting in the Glenfiddich IPA experimental series 01.
So the tasting was going to consist of three parts, the first the malt on its own.
Nose: Instant honey, pears, creamy cereal note, some orange, a soft cinnamon spice note with hint of hops towards the end.
Palate: Rich honey, creamy, the pear and apple I expect from Glenfiddich, some malt biscuits notes, a soft zesty orange note with a hoppy bitterness.
Finish: Medium in length, quite creamy with a moreish hop aftertaste.
The second part was to try the IPA itself, I found this to be light and zesty with a dry bitterness to it. Not something I would normally drink, although I could see myself having one with a IPA malt on a nice sunny afternoon in the summer. We then moved on to the third part which was to have the IPA signature serve, this consists of a measure of the malt in a glass with a ball of ice. Then take a slice of Blood orange peel wipe around the rim of the glass, twist and drop into the glass. This does highlight the zesty notes within the malt, fetching them very much to the front.
Overall this was a very enjoyable tasting, the IPA is a lovely enjoyable malt with just enough complexity to give you something to think about. In fact I enjoyed it enough to go out and buy a bottle the next day, it’s not going to blow your mind, what it will do is give you an enjoyable evening with friends sat drinking.
I would like to say thank you to Steve from the Whisky Wire and to Mark from Glenfiddich for the opportunity to try this malt and for a very enjoyable experience with some great people.