Glenfiddich’s Experimental Series started with IPA, a whisky that surprised me. I thought it was a gimmick, but it turned out to be a winner in setting Glenfiddich in a new direction. The second release in the Experimental Series is Project XX (Pronounced: Project Twenty). Was this a clever marketing way to put the number twenty on the bottle? Perhaps, but the whisky inside has a clever story, and it’s a clever scotch, so let’s dive deeper.
Project XX is a collaborative effort from twenty brand ambassadors from a few years back. They were asked to pick six casks of scotch based on the a history (ex-bourbon, sherry finished, etc..), and from there they picked their favorite of the six. Each of the twenty brand ambassadors from around the world contributed one cask. Those casks were married (blended) to produce the single malt scotch Project XX.
This one is filled with scotch mostly aged of American oak, a few sherry oak, and one port barrel finish (shoutout to Beth for bringing in the port!). It’s bottled at 47% ABV. As Glenfiddich Master Blender tells it, this is a recreation of the single malt whisky blended the day brand ambassadors picked their favorites.
The obvious comparison between Project XX and IPA can be made. Both aim to take Glenfiddich in a new direction, one more likely to attract today’s whisky drinker that wants edge and character over smooth whisky. People will have their favourites between the two, and I suspect many will pick Project XX, but for me it’s the IPA. That’s quite a surprise, considering Project XX is higher proofed, and I generally enjoy higher proof whiskies. Still, if you want an idea of where Glenfiddich is going, this is a great buy. It’s packaged beautifully.
If I were to drink only Glenfiddich and had to pick an order for the night, I’d pick the fifteen year old first, then the IPA, and finally Project XX. I’ve learned long ago, any booze that ends with Xs should be had last. Still, having all three would make for a terrific night.
Glenfiddich Project XX
Category: Single malt scotch, NAS
Nose: The port barrel really seizes the nose, with beautifully rich cinnamon and caramel notes.
Palate: The palate is unlike a typical Glenfiddich. It’s rich, sharp, sour, and sweet all at once. The finish is sour, peppery, and buttery.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ Your great regular rotation whisky that’ll come and go
Back “in the day” Glenfiddich became the market leader by producing a smooth single malt scotch in their twelve-year old release. Smooth isn’t as popular was it used to be, and while this hasn’t really hurt Glenfiddich’s sales, they’ve entered the market with products that are intended to be interesting. Project XX is just that—A Glenfiddich with plenty of character.