- Guest Blogger -
The first single malt Scotch whisky finished in IPA craft beer casks.
In a groundbreaking experiment by Malt Master Brian Kinsman of Glenfiddich, Brian has proven that traditional whisky casks can still be seasoned in a pioneering way. A first of its kind and collaborating with a local Speyside craft brewer, Brian created a bold and zesty IPA beer to imbue Glenfiddichs rich oak casks with extra hoppy notes. The experiment resulted in the first single malt Scotch whisky ever finished in craft IPA casks.
“The idea behind the Glenfiddich IPA experiment was quite unusual, but one we were passionate about – we wanted to really play with the flavours to see what we could create.” ‒ Malt Master Brian Kinsman
BREWING THE PERFECT IPA
The collaborators had a momentous task ahead. First, they had to design and create three separate brews of different strengths – freshly brewed IPA craft beer that could rest in whisky casks, later to be used to finish the Experimental Series variants.
SEASONING THE CASKS
At the Glenfiddich Distillery, Brian secretly kept up to nine barrels seasoning at any one time, hidden from view in his warehouse. He varied the time the craft beer spent penetrating deep into the oak casks, before filling the casks back up with whisky to see what new flavours would be revealed.
THE FINAL EXPRESSION
It was a lengthy, experimental process but they finally decided on their favourite: Brew 2. The science of seasoning, beer strength and the time the whisky spent being finished all had a remarkable effect on the final, distinctive flavour.
A PIONEERING NEW MALT
What began as a quirky idea had quickly turned into an intensive experiment. Not only had Brian pioneered a new malt, but he had created a new craft beer in the process. This malt is proof that remarkable feats can be achieved when great people get together.
GLENFIDDICH IPA TASTING NOTES
Colour: Rich & Golden
Taste: Vibrant with a zesty citrus note followed by soft, sweet vanilla and a hint of fresh hops.
Finish: Long lasting sweetness with subtle green hops