Whisky Focus - Glenfiddich Fire & Cane Experimental Series No 4

Glenfiddich Fire & Cane Experimental Series No 4

17th September 2018
Introducing Glenfiddich Fire & Cane Experimental Series No 4, a smoky whisky which has been finished in sweet rum casks, expect a mix of campfire smoke and sweet toffee.

Glenfiddich Fire & Cane Experimental Series No 4This one slipped past me when it was announced during the summer months but I thought I would still bring it to your attention in case you also missed its announcement during the midst of the summer holiday season and as it is scheduled to be launched here in the UK next month I thought this would be an appropriate time to mention it.

It is the Glenfiddich Fire & Cane Experimental Series No 4, a smoky whisky which has been finished in sweet rum casks and going by the quality of the previous three releases in the Experimental Series, the excellent Glenfiddich IPA Experiment and outstanding Glenfiddich Project XX Experiment it has a lot to live up to. I cant comment on the Glenfiddich Winter Storm 21 year old Experiment as I never got the chance to taste it but by most accounts it was another interesting dram.

Fire & Cane is inspired by the early innovation of Glenfiddich Malt Master Brian Kinsman, who in 2003, first ran peated spirit through the Glenfiddich stills, birthing the concept. Fire & Cane boldly marries smoky whisky with non-peated malts that had been maturing side-by-side in bourbon casks, highlighting Glenfiddich’s sweet and fruity signature style. Taking it a step further, Kinsman finished the whisky in Latin rum casks to produce a surprising and unexpected overlay of flavours with added caramel toffee sweetness.

"This new single malt truly encapsulates the spirit of experimentation. We started with a question - what would happen if we did something with peat that we had not done before? The answer is an unconventional and unexpected whisky, one that is truly surprising," said Glenfiddich Malt Master Brian Kinsman. "During the tastings, some experienced the unusual smoky notes, while others tasted toffee flavours – this phenomenon can be attributed to the Scotch spending three months in sweet rum casks. It’s a bold combination, which I’m sure will appeal and intrigue single malt enthusiasts as well as those looking to try something new and different."

The Glenfiddich tell me that the fire of the newest expression in the Experimental Series provides an explosion of campfire smokiness with oak and peaty notes, finished with lingering woodiness. The cane provides long-lasting sweetness by merging rich sweet toffee with green fruit character, baked apple, and toasted marshmallow with soft spice. Rum casks also help balance the dryness of the phenols and drive sweetness. Furthermore, by exclusively using naturally sweet American oak – sourced from the Kelvin Cooperage in Louisville, Kentucky – Fire & Cane is certified kosher.

Glenfiddich Experimental Series combines the brand’s passion for pushing Scotch whisky boundaries whilst unlocking new possibilities in the true spirit of experimentation.

Fire & Cane is presented in a coloured glass bottle that seamlessly transitions from a black/brown base to clear glass displaying the whisky. The bottle was designed to showcase the juxtaposing flavours physically with the shift in colour.

Knowing how good the deliciously rich rum cask finished Glenfiddich 21 year old is I am looking forward to trying this smoky rum cask finished Glenfiddich Fire & Cane, it is already available in the US and it will launch here in the UK from October 2018, priced around £43 and you will find it available from specialist online whisky retailers such as The Whisky Exchange, Master of Malt and The Whisky Shop

Glenfiddich Fire & Cane Experimental Series No 4 Review

Review added 21st December 2018. Bottled at 43% ABV.

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose: A rich nose, candied apple and pear, a little orange, a lovely Demerara sugar sweetness infused with a gentle peat smoke.

Taste: Sweet toffee infused with some very gentle peat smoke with a slight liquorice edge coats the mouth, followed closely by the candied apple from the nose which is now accompanied by a little touch of spice.

Finish: Demerara sweet gentle smoke infused sugars cling to the palate for an age.

Comment: The smoke is gentle but hangs in there from start to finish, it does become a little bolder with each mouthful and compliments the candied fruit and sweet toffee well to make for, and most importantly, a very enjoyable dram. The 43% bottling strength adds to the pleasure but I would loved to have tasted this at 46% plus, another quality experiment from Glenfiddich and certainly worth its asking price.

SMW Score 85/100

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