by al mancini
A good old-fashioned boilermaker is no way to treat a good whisky, regardless of whether you shoot the hard stuff and immediately chase it with beer, or pour the shot into the brew and sip it. Either way, the liquor taste is masked – usually on purpose to make cheap-but-strong booze more palatable. But, as the distillers at Glenfiddich clearly know, the tastes of a truly fine Scotch whisky and a really good ale actually go quite well together.
The problem has always been the delivery. To solve that dilemma, the makers of the world’s best-selling and most-awarded single malt Scotch have found a way to infuse hints of the ale into the whisky during the aging process.
For its first installment, the Glenfiddich Experimental Series of single-malts, the company has introduced Glenfiddich India Pale Ale Cask Finish. The distillery’s malt master, Brian Kinsman, began by collaborating with a craft brewer from Scotland’s Speyside region to create three custom IPAs that were used to season oak whisky casks. Those casks were then emptied and refilled with Glenfiddich, which absorbed the beers’ flavors.
Kinsman describes the results as “a liquid with a zesty citrus note followed by soft, sweet vanilla and a hint of fresh hops.”
Of course, you may find different notes when you sip it for yourself. Whatever you find, rest assured they’ll be more interesting than the boilermakers of your youth.