By finishing a single malt Scotch whisky in IPA craft beer casks, Glenfiddich creates new flavors
Glenfiddich India Pale Ale Cask Finish is the first Scotch whisky in the storied brand’s Experimental Series. This new line promises to push the boundaries of what tasters expect from Scotch by using different techniques and methods to forge new flavor combinations.
Part of that mandate to create, expand and enrich involves working with artisans outside of the traditional world of whisky. For India Pale Ale Cask Finish, Glenfiddich teamed with a local craft brewer who created a unique India Pale Ale (IPA) for the project. Full of bright citrus hops, the IPA notes were designed to complement the whisky’s ingredients. That beer was then added to oak whisky casks for an aging period. After removal, the Scotch was added to the emptied, seasoned cask for the finishing process.
After an exhaustive course of trial and error, Glenfiddich came up with its ideal ratio of source beer and aging times that brings us India Pale Ale Cask Finish.
The end product leaves us with a 43% alcohol-by-volume sipper that serves well over an ice ball, with sitting time to allow the drink to slowly wear away at the cube. The nose is soft with pear and floral notes and just the right amount of dry vanilla imparted from the oak. The taste is as bright as the nose would imply, with a tight hit of citrus and pine. That fades into a tang between sweet marshmallow and bitter grass. The lingering finish draws out those last contrasting flavors and provides enough essence for contemplation as well as anticipation of the next sip. The alcohol burn is warming without being acidic, creating an exquisite overall experience.
Glenfiddich India Pale Ale Cask Finish is available now at whisky retailers throughout the United States.