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Craft Beer

IPA’s new frontier: Whiskey

Whiskey on bar counter

Spirits are now being aged in IPA barrels.

(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Beers aged in bourbon, rum or whiskey barrels? They’re a dime per dozen drams.

Now, though, we’re seeing this trend in reverse — spirits aged in IPA barrels. Last year, the giant Irish whiskey distiller Jameson introduced Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition, a whiskey aged in barrels that had previously held an Irish IPA.

Now comes Glenfiddich India Pale Ale Experiment, a single-malt whiskey aged in IPA casks from Scotland’s Speyside Craft Brewery.

I recently enjoyed a snifter of this hybrid, although it completely flummoxed me. For a beer drinker who usually stays in his ale-and-lager lane, it’s difficult to suss out the IPA in Glenfiddich. Some of this is due to the massive booziness (43%), which roll off the lovely amber surface in waves of fusil alcohol. Sip by sip, though, I was able to pick up bits of apple and pear, plus the whiskey’s vanilla, oak and caramel.

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The American IPA is the nation’s top beer style, followed closely by hazy IPAs, fruit IPAs and other variants. If whiskey follows suit, can Starbucks IPA Latte Macchiato be far behind?

Read more from Brewery Rowe here.


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