Review – The Glenfiddich IPA experiment, or, how the stag learnt to hop (pun intended) 

I’m just going to come out and say it. I’m all for NAS whiskies.

However this only on the proviso that they are perhaps a different to a distilleries core range or house style. To use marketing speak I like them to be character-led.

Swapping your base level age stated expression for, or introducing, a more expensive, exclusive sounding named but younger expression is a little misleading.  (Laphroaig Select, Glenlivet Founders Reserve and Cardhu Gold Reserve, I’m talking to you)

Anyway the (reasonably) New Glenfiddich IPA expression is one I don’t mind. I think it’s aimed at people who are going into bars or whisky shops, recognising the Glenfiddich brand but are put off by its omnipresence and want to try something a little different.

Capitalising on brand recognition but going off on a tangent.

For that reason I’m guessing it’s selling very well in mainstream supermarkets.

Very few people are heading into a bar and saying they’ve never tried a ‘Fiddich 12.

Bit of a ramble there, but that’s my marketing and branding geek side coming out.

Let’s talk about the whisky.

I’m not sure how old the whisky is but I’m guessing less than 10 but not considerably so. It’s matured for 3 months in an ex-IPA cask, which previously contained an ale from the nearby Speyside Craft Brewery for 30 days. I’m guessing they will be launching a whisky themed ale at some point. The hops used in the IPA are the Challenger variety, known for their floral and spicy properties.

Glenfiddich IPA, OB, NAS, 45%abv, from my personal collection, (available here


The nose is relatively light with elements of pineapples and pears with some lemon sherbert sweets and a touch of pepper. The abv presents as a touch strong for the nose as it’s feels ever so slightly zippy, however…

It really suits the palate. The slight extra sharpness from the hop influence coupled with a spirit at a slightly higher level is a good combination. Quite sharp but fruity, think ruby grapefruit and fresh citrus. Cuts through the palate but tempered by the fruitier elements.

The finish follows on as you would expect with the fruitier nature revealing itself with some nice apricot and peachy notes.