The iconic Glenfiddich showcased classic heritage alongside innovation as they launched two new whiskies in their Glenfiddich Experimental Series, bringing the exciting release platform to Australia through a recent launch in Sydney. Here’s what went down.
The C.U.B. Suite of the Old Clare Hotel in Chippendale, Sydney was our location for the night. This 160 square-meter, heritage listed room is the former Carlton & United Breweries’ boardroom that still accommodates the original parquetry floors, cornices and timber paneling and a stunningly restored men’s, grandiose washroom.
The first of the new additions is the Glenfiddich IPA Experiment (ABV 43%) – the world’s first single malt Scotch whisky finished in an India Pale Ale (IPA) craft beer cask. The result is an innovative, pioneering whisky that to the nose is fragrant with green apple, pears and a vanilla oakiness. To the tongue, long lasting sweetness accompanies a zesty citrus lining that heightens the freshness of the hops.
The second release, the Project XX (pronounced “twenty”) is the result of collaboration between 20 whisky experts from around the world and Glenfiddich’s Malt Master, Brian Kinsman. The input of experts from locations ranging from the US, Canada, Taiwan, Ukraine and South Africa, just to name a few, have nurtured a distinct and special product. Along with the usual Glenfiddich fruitiness, the Project XX (ABV 47%) smells of subtle spice and sugar, carrying through to a palate of vanilla oakiness combined with a lingering cinnamon finish.
A captivating speech about brand connectivity, iconography and attaining the ‘maverick’ status by Dan Gregory (of The Impossible Institute and The Gruen Transfer) followed a dialogue by whisky specialist Richard Blanchard whose lust and passion for the Glenfiddich brand and product bathed over the room.
A nine course dinner from Kensington Street Social – located in the belly of the Old Clare, enticed and further seduced our taste buds as it complemented the whisky notes. From the ‘Tongue ‘n’ Cheek Croquettes’ that had shredded meat melting on your tongue, to ‘Pasture fed beef tartar, beetroot jam, oyster emulsion’ that highlighted the natural and raw hero status that meat can achieve when it is served in its most reduced form; the food was a constant talking point as dish after dish impressed and lured us in – having a clear standout was near impossible.
The Glenfiddich Experimental Series will launch from November 2016 in Australia, and include a number of unexpected variants over time. For more information visit www.glenfiddich.com and www.theoldclarehotel.com.au and www.kensingtonstreetsocial.com.