Just In 👉 Volcan de mi Tierra Debuts Tahona Made Blanco

News & New Releases

Glenfiddich Experimental Series #5 Goes Fruit Heavy - Orchard Experiment Experimental Series #05

What you need to know: 

  • Glenfiddich Experimental Series #05 is named Orchard Experiment and features a finish in Somerset Pomona Spirit casks, first of its kind, and bottled at 43% ABV. It is priced at £42-43, and can already be found at UK retailers such as Sainbury's and Waitrose.

  • For those outside the UK, Somerset Pomona is a type of apple liqueur made in the UK that is named after the Roman goddess of fruit, and is basically a blend of apple juice and cider brandy, which is then aged for several years before bottling. It's fruity, toasty and fairly heavy - as such it is often drunk as a digestif or paired with cheeses.

  • There's some significance to this particular Experimental edition - it represents a new type of cask that was only permitted in 2019 after Scotch labelling rules expanded to include spirits that have fruit added after fermentation or distillation.

  • This sounds wonderfully really - deep, fruity notes and a more creamy and heavier bodied texture is a profile that I've found quite beloved amongst whiskies. Quite easy to pick up as well and reasonable price.

  • Cop the Drop or Not Verdict: Cop

   

 (Image Source: Glenfiddich, Daily Public)

 

Glenfiddich's beloved Experimental Series, which saw the likes of an IPA maturation Scotch, its second instalment was a collaboration of 20 whisky experts to produce a secret Scotch, there was also the highly sought after Winter Storm which was matured in Icewine casks and most recently #04 featured the use of rum casks on peated whiskies - is now back with #05.

 

The Experimental Series thus far. (Image Source: Glenfiddich)

 

#05 is named Orchard Experiment and features a finish in Somerset Pomona Spirit casks, first of its kind, and bottled at 43% ABV. It is priced at £42-43, and can already be found at UK retailers such as Sainbury's and Waitrose.

For those outside the UK, Somerset Pomona is a type of apple liqueur made in the UK that is named after the Roman goddess of fruit, and is basically a blend of apple juice and cider brandy, which is then aged for several years before bottling. It's fruity, toasty and fairly heavy - as such it is often drunk as a digestif or paired with cheeses.

 

Somerset Pomona is a UK-made spirit that combines apple juice with cider brandy and is then aged in wooden casks. (Image Source: Apple Cider Brandy)

 

The inspiration behind the experiment was to heighten and accentuate Glenfiddich's sweet and fruity house style, and give the whisky's depth brighter top notes of sweet Somerset apples.

For this particular expression, selected Glenfiddich whisky was finished in ex-Somerset Pomona casks for about 4 months to create what they say is an incredibly fruity and sweet whisky, with loads of warmth. 

 

(Image Source: Glenfiddich)

  

Official Tasting Notes

Aroma

Glenfiddich notes of fresh pears and ripe orchard fruits, elevated and accentuated by a finishing period in Somerset Pomona Spirit casks.

Taste

An initial burst of ripe orchard fruits on the palate softens and develops into sweet creamy toffee, caramelised apple, and woody spice.

Finish

Long lasting sweetness.

 

Our Take

This sounds wonderfully really - deep, fruity notes and a more creamy and heavier bodied texture is a profile that I've found quite beloved amongst whiskies. It's accessible in terms of taste, seems pretty generally likeable in terms of flavors (nothing too divisive), and has a good weight to it - probably nothing wild should be expected here, but certainly would seem like a good starter/daily sipper whisky. Don't go looking for too much deep thinking here. Simple does it here.

 

The new rules has widened what Scotch makers can play with - some of the more popular ones are tequila and calvados casks. (Image Source: BlackTailNYC)

 

While it may appear like yet another instalment in the Highland whiskymaker's Experimental Series - which frankly, is there really any whiskymaker that doesn't have something of the sort (along with some Art series of some kind) - this is actually a real step outside of what has existed in Scotch-verse. The use of a fruit liqueur cask is something that was only permissible under the revised Scotch labelling rules that (belatedly) changed in 2019, which was in part due to a leaked expose of Diageo's push for Scotch makers to be allowed to use a wider range of casks. Somerset Pomona actually falls under the new rules which specifically allow fruit-based spirits which are made having added fruit after fermentation or after distillation (specifically, this one).

This of course, also comes off the back of Scotch makers acknowledging the need to be more competitive as their Irish, Japanese and Australian peers, amongst others, have taken advantage of the restrictive Scotch rules that only allow mainly the Big 4 casks - Bourbon, Sherry, Rum and Wine (not exhaustive, but primarily these) - to get ahead of Scotch by marketing interesting and innovative use of different casks.

 

Perhaps we might start to see somewhat a loosening up of Sherry's grip on the Scotch category. (Image Source: Sherry Notes)

 

So, what I'm saying really is that this isn't some marketing bullsh*t, it really is an experiment in that sense and a sensible one (unlike some funky casks that have been used the moment these laws were broadened) - so for something like 43 GBP, and is quite easily available at your nearby Waitrose or Sainsbury's (that is if you live in the UK), it is certainly worth a shot. Let's hope this gets a worldwide release as well, which no news has been announced yet.

 

Cop the Drop or Not Verdict: Cop

 

Kanpai!

 

@111hotpot