Review: Glenfiddich Cask 21900 and Project XX

Fresh off the heels of my interview with Glenfiddich West Brand Ambassador Jenny Wren, I took the opportunity to do a side-by-side tasting of Cask 21900, one of the twenty casks that went into Project XX, along with the final product itself. Jenny was kind enough to send me samples of both whiskies and I was excited to see how Cask 21900 played into the overall flavor of Project XX.

At the time of the original Project XX bottling, Cask 21900 was seven years old. Since then, it aged two more years and actually picked up strength in the barrel. The sample was drawn around March of 2018. I was especially excited to try this as it’s definitely the highest proof Glenfiddich I’ve ever had.

Photo by Grace Uftovsky

As for Project XX, based on the makeup of the barrels that went into this release (mostly ex-bourbon, some sherry, and a bit of port), I expected this to be classic Glenfiddich’s goodness. Check out the interview with Jenny for a lot more on this release and how it came to be. In the meantime, let’s see how these two whiskies compared to each other:

Glenfiddich Project XX - 47% ABV
Category Notes
Appearance Amber
Nose Orchard fruits (apples and pears), cotton candy, vanilla, lemon peel, a nice layer of fresh-cut flowers.
Taste Orange, bourbony vanilla, spice in the form of cinnamon and nutmeg, caramel sweetness, sour patch kids.
Finish Nice spice, some great oak, honey and sweet cream to finish.
Overall Thoughts A really nice representation of the classic ‘fiddich flavor profile.
Total Score 87/100
Glenfiddich Cask 21900 (2009) - 67.2% ABV
Category Notes
Appearance Straw
Nose Heavy on the vanilla, grapefruit, heather, allspice, a perfume note has emerged with time and some water.
Taste Heavy citrus and flowers, some oak, more of that allspice, vanilla. Time and water have brought spice in the form of white pepper and cloves to the forefront.
Finish Baking spice finally makes an appearance, apple pie filling, chocolate orange. A long finish with oaky citrus remaining for quite a while.
Overall Thoughts Youthful and vibrant, this stuff really packs a punch but it doesn’t have that youthful heat to it.
Total Score 90/100

What did Cask 21900 add to the final version of Project XX? Besides some youthful zing and strength, this certainly contributed some serious citrus undertones. I’d love to get my hands on more samples of the other whiskies that went into this one. Until then, I can say for sure that Project XX is a really cool idea that was executed beautifully.