Over the past years, Glenfiddich has been pushing the boundaries of single malt whisky to create expressions that you may have never thought possible. The first two successes of the Experimental Series are the IPA Experiment, where they created a bespoke craft IPA beer to finish their single malt, and Project XX, where twenty of the whisky world’s finest minds were given free reign of the Glenfiddich warehouse to discover the most unusual expressions and concoct one innovative malt. But it didn’t stop there. Today, we’ve experimented with the perfect serves to bring a further experimental twist to each whisky. And here they are.
The Sunday lunch cocktail, the Thursday night aperitif after work - not situations you would traditionally associate with the single malt. But this serve could change everything. We’ve put together a recipe that combines the experience of drinking a cool, refreshing IPA craft beer with our award-winning single malt whisky.
Creating the serve
This serve works beautifully with the complexity of the IPA Experiment. We had to sit down and look at how it actually behaved in a glass, how it smelled on the nose, how it tasted, and what the finish was like. We also looked to the craft IPA beer itself for inspiration. Why does someone sit down and drink a beer? Beer is refreshing, gratifying even. Good beer has layers and layers of flavour so to echo this experience in the serve, we wanted the whisky to be chilled. To bring out some of the zestier notes of the whisky we settled on an orange twist with an ice ball sphere.
With the warm summer days around the corner, this serve is a refreshing, palate cleansing drink, working in the same way as a classic aperitif. It’s this thought-changing innovation that makes this serve special.
Project XX was the result of a really unusual process, where 20 whisky experts, were given free reign of the Glenfiddich warehouse to pick out a single cask, that would later be married together with other people’s selections to create an incredibly complex single malt. From port pipes to Bourbon casks, each of the whisky experts picked their most intriguing expression to add to the experiment.
Creating the serve
When you create a serve, you aren’t looking at an after dinner drink in front of the fire, you’re looking at an occasion. We wanted to break the whisky down and think about the collective vision for the product.
The process began when Brian Kinsman – master distiller- brought the whole team together by taking each of these unique, incredible single malts and marrying them in a way that balanced the flavours in perfect harmony, without losing that definitive Glenfiddich DNA. Project XX has some really fascinating notes because of the type of casks that are in there.
Project XX has huge depth and complexity and there is a minerality to the liquid which runs through all Glenfiddich expressions. It probably relates back to our water source, the Robbie Dhu Spring, and the long fermentation time.
Salt has traditionally been used in the culinary world by chefs to either reinforce or to bring out certain flavours that they want from different cuisines. With Project XX, because you have such a complexity of flavours, the salt acts as a flavour enhancer and gives you this incredible contrast between a sweet long, complex whiskey and its minerality.
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This article was written in collaboration with Struan Ralph, Glenfiddich’s Global Brand Ambassador.