The long-awaited release of Glenfiddich Experimental Series landed on 9 November 2017 in Asia Pacific. This series works to define Glenfiddich as an innovative distillery that is not afraid to push the boundary to create new and exciting variants in the industry. The series started with two bottles – the IPA experiment and the Project XX (pronounced as twenty). Both bottles will be available through Travel Retail at less than $100 per bottle.
Exclusive Invite to Glenfiddich Launch
Our friends at William Grant & Sons warmly invited us to the launch party on 10 November 2017 at Funan SG Showsuite. The party was already in full swing when we arrived. After sorting out our passes for the night, we headed straight to the bar to check out the whiskies.
We found our targets sitting at the bar, waiting. Both the IPA Experiment and Project XX were available at the bar. You can choose to have it neat, on the rocks or as a cocktail. We decided to go slow, and hence we tried the Project XX on the rocks.
Project XX – on the rocks
Yumm…the sweet aroma wafted up immediately. Summer fruits, fresh pears, and red apples burst onto the nose. There were notes of a creamy vanilla cupcake with some oak sweetness, a hint of liquorice and gentle spice. A sip of the whisky proved that the ice did not dilute the taste at all. Candy floss sweetness coated our palate with a creamy vanilla oakiness before opening up to almonds, cinnamon spice and hints of tannin. The long-lasting finish with the lingering sweet oakiness completes the journey with Project XX.
What a beautiful dram. It may not be the most complex, but it certainly wins our hearts with its deep and mellow characteristic.
The voice of Matthew Fergusson-Stewart, the Glenfiddich Regional Brand Ambassador in Asia Pacific, captured our attention as he tried his best to gather all of us to the front of the venue where he waited to introduce the two whiskies officially with his partner, Danial Goh, the godfather of beer in Singapore. As everyone made their way to the front, we, too, went all the way to the front so that we could capture their handsome faces adequately. (Teehee!)
Matthew waxed lyrical about the two whiskies and also introduced the beer godfather of Singapore to everyone. He is the regional brand ambassador for Glenfiddich in Asia Pacific and is a well-known figure in the region. Matt has an extensive knowledge of all things whiskies as he honed his skills in the whisky industry for the past decade. His impressive resume also won him the title of the Scotch Whisky Brand Ambassador of the year 2017 from Icons of Whisky awards.
Daniel Goh is a pioneer in the Singapore craft beer scene. He is fondly known as the godfather of beer in Singapore because he started the revolution of selling craft beers out of a hawker stall in 2011. Known as The Good Beer Company, Daniel helps to expand the craft beer scene in Singapore. In 2013, he co-founded Smith Street Taps, which went on to win the “Best Beer Bar” award at The Bar Awards Singapore 2017. In fact, the bar is also named one of Asia’s best beer bar by CNN and voted as one of the most fabulous bar in the world in Condé Nast Traveler.
Before the guests were split up for the whisky tasting session, WhiskyGeeks managed to grab both Matthew and Daniel for a photo together. You know they are fun people to hang out with just by looking at their pictures, isn’t it?
Whisky Tasting Session
When we finally headed up to level 2 of the show suite for our tasting session, we discovered something else. They were serving beer! Why? The answer should be quite obvious. The IPA experiment was matured in beer cask! Daniel started the ball rolling by introducing the IPA Experiment to us. He explained that IPA is popular in Europe and Glenfiddich wanted to try something entirely different in these series of innovative experiments. Therefore, they chose the IPA. Glenfiddich seasoned the cask by the IPA before pouring the whisky into the cask for maturation. Guess what happened to the beer? Nope, the distillery did not waste it. They bottled it and sold it at one of the festivals in Speyside!
Both the IPA (beer) and the IPA Experiment (whisky) were available for us to compare the aromas and flavours. The beer was fresh, floral and sweet. The taste was slightly bitter and refreshing. The whisky took on a whole new level of characteristics. Green apples, fresh pears and intense floral notes mixed with herbs burst through the nose. Then you get the Glenfiddich characteristics of fruits and sweet vanilla oak. The palate followed the nose with robust citrus notes and soft, sweet vanilla. A hint of fresh hops hung in the background. The long-lasting finish of delicious fruits and subtle green hops ends the journey with the IPA Experiment.
Matthew then shared the history of Project XX – how it came about. 20 brand ambassadors across the world went to the Glenfiddich warehouse, and each of them was given a choice to choose one cask. None of them knew what was going on, and they treated it like a game. What happened afterwards was magical – their Malt Master, Brian Kinsman, married those 20 casks in a vat and Project XX was born!
After sampling Project XX, Matthew gave us a surprise! He let us try HIS CASK! The one that he picked for Project XX. It was a cask strength whisky, and that, my readers, was pure delight. The sweet and floral nose coupled with the balanced palate was more than what we could have asked for!
Before we left the party, the team from Glenfiddich gave us another surprise. There was a media kit prepared for us, and the gifts were indeed generous. Just take a look at that!
It was indeed a fantastic party filled with fun, laughter and delicious whiskies. We are blown by the generosity of William Grant & Sons and look forward to grabbing some bottles from the Travel Retail at Changi Airport soon!