Nose: Cloves, dates, allspice, oak, stewed apples, citrus, gummy bears and vanilla.
Taste: A burst of flavours of apple, vanilla, spices and a hint of toffee.
I started exploring whisky because I believed there wouldn’t be any math involved. So, when I first heard of Glenfiddich’s The Project XX, tiny beads of sweat started showing up on my forehead as I screamed: Oh, God… Y me. Thankfully, my fear was short lived. Actually, the “XX “ part of the of the name is pronounced Project Twenty. And, another actually: this creation came about when twenty brand ambassadors were invited to pick one barrel each, after which all barrels were to be vatted together by Master Blender, Brian Kinsman. Ok, so there’s a little bit of math involved but fortunately, not at my end.
This project is definitely more alchemic than algebraic as it marries first-fill bourbon casks, sherry butts and port pipes together. There’s a fair bit of action going on here so I have to take out my mental notepad to jot down what I picked up. Showing up with a 47 percent abv, the oak tannins aren’t shy at all here. Neither are the spices. It’s almost as if the stewed apples, dates, gummy bears and other notes are all wearing clove loafers. The nosing though, belies what was about to happen on the palate. As soon as Project XX hit my tongue, a velvet supernova exploded softly in my mouth. Rich vanilla and spices, like flavoured atomic particles, being pushed by a supple toffee wave rushes to fill the empty space that is my mouth with its flavourful existence. And the finish? Best put your feet up and grab a good book because Project XX takes its time in leaving – like a tide slowly and deliciously receding away.
Project XX is part of Glenfiddich’s experimental series. The other releases include the IPA Experiment, finished in ex IPA barrels and Winter Storm 21, finished in Ice Wine Casks. Glenfiddich is the world’s number one selling single malt with more than 1 million nine-litre cases per year are sold worldwide. The Experiment Series could be seen as a bold step by a brand that, one could argue, doesn’t need to try something different. But kudos to Brian Kinsman for wanting to press the “refresh” button. I enjoyed where Project XX took me and would suggest that it would make a nice addition (or expansion) to your collection.
One last note: no math was involved in the writing of this review. Cheers.