Glenfiddich Pushes Single Malt Scotch Whisky Boundaries

New Glenfiddich India Pale Ale Combines Tradition With Innovative Vision, Redefining Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Written By: Sorina Szakacs Glenfiddich


With 130 years of tradition in creating the world’s most awarded single malt scotch whisky, Glenfiddich now pushes boundaries with its Experimental Series, that combine Scotland’s way of making scotch with innovative techniques for an unprecedented experience.

With dim lights, candles and background music, The Phoenix created the perfect, intimate atmosphere for the tasting of Glenfiddich India Pale Ale, the newest member of the Glenfiddich family, and the first of their Experimental Series.

Glenfiddich is one of the few single malt distilleries to remain entirely family owned. In the summer of 1886, William Grant along with his seven sons and two daughters began building the distillery by hand, stone by stone. After a single year of work it was ready and William named it Glenfiddich, Gaelic for Valley of the Deer.

“The real scotch can only be made in Scotland. Glenfiddich keeps a 130 year tradition, using only yeast, barley, and water in creating the single malt scotch whisky, [which are] kept in oak casks, ” Glenfiddich US brand ambassador Mitch Bechard said.

The Glenfiddich India Pale Ale was created two years ago, when Brian Kinsman, the only sixth Malt Master in 129 years of Glenfiddich history, had the innovative idea and drive to work with a brewery and create experimental blends of scotch.

“Our Malt Master worked with a Speyside Brewery and created five or six IPAs that were aged in casks from Glenfiddich. Trying several types of IPAs helped them understand the characteristics needed in the IPA, to complement our 12-year-old Glenfiddich scotch ones, ” Bechard said. “The IPA was then removed from the casks and the same ones were used to age the Glenfiddich India Pale Ale that has a lot of zesty citrus notes, a big punch of vanilla, and slight hoppy note at the end.”

The Glenfiddich India Pale Ale pairs well with a lighter IPA, and because of its fruity, orange marmalade taste and spicy feeling from IPA, it goes well with cold smoked salmon, dark chocolate, and a wide range of cheeses.

“IPA is hot right now, and is our Malt Master’s drink of choice on most occasions, and that’s where the idea of the first scotch that used beer caskets to finish came from, ” said Bechard.

“This is the first one of our Experimental Series but we have a few more on the pipeline that will be launched soon.”

The intimate atmosphere and the personal approach Glenfiddich uses with local distributors and the liquor industry in Los Angeles adds to the simplicity of their scotch making process and the minimalist bottle and label used for Glenfiddich India Pale Ale. Guests—mostly men wearing suits and ties—gathered on the Phoenix patio to find out the story behind the Glenfiddich India Pale Ale and decide for themselves if tradition blends with innovation in a positive outcome. “I am not a fan of IPAs, but I am a fan of scotch. I like their new product because they are not abandoning their core principles, ” said James Young, one of the attendees. Even though most scotch drinkers seemed to be men at the event, a few women present found it pleasant and enjoyable. “I am a very rare kind of woman, I am a single malt drinker and I can say that this is a very pure drink, from the best brand out there, ” said Heidi Ta.

The unique characteristics of Glenfiddich India Pale Ale could change the perception Los

Angeles scotch drinkers had so far about single malt whisky. “It’s different from all others and a little bit more on the bitter side at the end, ” Paula McClellan, one of the guests, said.

With certain rules and regulations set by the Scotch Whisky Association, Glenfiddich cannot make capital changes, but keeping the traditional recipe and pairing it with innovative ideas, the company could become an important game changer and trend setter in the scotch whisky industry.

The New Glenfiddich Finished in India Pale Ale Casks Sets New Standards for Single Malt Scotch

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