Whisky Review: Signatory Vintage Glenlivet 1981 Aged 36 Years Cask Hand Picked by The Whisky Exchange

Style: Sherry, Spicy and Oaky

Nose:

Begins with a pleasing dark fruits aroma then we running up a steep ginger slope. Orange drop, chocolate malt, red liquorice scattering around. Barley swimming in molten brown sugar and red cherries. Ginger backbone stays strong. Rich, round and spicy.

Palate:

Dark fruits in abundance at the forefront, purple grapes, black currants with a touch of oily grapefruits to give a slight citrus bitterness. Orange candy, the spice continues to strike a ginger tone. Cherry pie, building upon a peppermint stack, generous pencil shavings and saw dust forming a solid line. Sherry fruits give the malt a lot of depth. Oak walks in comfortably towards the end, nice.

Finish:

Almond biscuits, goji berries and strawberry jam gently trickles down, mellow malt humming softly, delicious.

Thoughts:

Another beautiful Glenlivet we have here. I have tried sherry cask finished Glenlivet with similar specs before, but they were less memorable than this one. The integration feels more complete and comfortable – feels more “natural” if you know what I mean. The sherry, the ginger, the oak combine to great effort and this is what a well-matured Glenlivet is about.

☆☆[Highly Recommended]

[47.6% | Independent Bottling | 1981 Distilled | 2018 Bottled | Single Cask | Cask Strength | Non Coloured | Cask Number: 12 | 702 Bottles | Finish Period 76 months in a Sherry Butt | **]

-Esmond

Dram Review: Cadenhead Small Batch Glenlivet (Minmore) Aged 42 Years

[40.2%・42 Years Old・Distilled in 1973・Bottled in 2015・Cadenhead Bottling・Limited Release]

Nose:

Soft ripe papaya and watermelon syrup gets balanced by equally assertive doses of oak and biscuity malt. There’s some delicate floral note lingering, before taking a curious turn to a slightly green theme but at the same time it leans on the wood influence. In time there are notes of broth, mothball, olive oil and bread.

Palate & Finish:

White fruits, peaches in particular get softly presented. A wee drizzle of olive oil but it is then intervened by the oak, followed by a blend of buttery, malty, floral and umami notes. It ultimately settles on its dry woody side.

Mellow woody finish with some menthol, hint of watermelon syrup as well.

Thoughts:

Perhaps a bit over-oaked, the front palate is absolutely delicious but it may fall a tad too oaky for some.. but then again, this is a rather enticing 42 year old..

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas

Whisky Review: The Glenlivet “Code”

Style: Fruity and Spicy

Nose:

Frosty peppermint sweeps through the background, equal dose of fruit and barley on the nose. Poached pears and kumquat showing at the core, followed by a tighter balsamic vinegar squeezing from the sides. A touch of cherry liquorice quickly buried by black peppercorns, dry and spicy end note.

Palate:

Juicy sweetness building at the forefront, while liquorice and ginger shreds wrapping around the fruity core – More poached pears, kumquat and fruit tart dusted with icing sugar. Almost candy-like at times. Spirit overtone, whereas pineapple vanilla ice cream sits one layer down to give a smooth, oily texture. Sweetness starting to wane towards the back and we have chocolate oat, oak and black pepper to dry things up.

Finish:

The dryness lingers for a while and eventually gives way to malt syrup and orange drops, forming a layer of agar agar.

Thoughts:

Ahhhh, the fun begins. Guessing whisky, regardless getting it right or not, is always entertaining. Given the vanilla-fruit heavy nature of this dram, I think the majority of the spirit should come from (first-fill) Bourbon casks, while some of the red fruits liquorice sweetness might be contributed by red wine casks, minimal or no sherry influence. Young whisky no doubt, but not that young, I guess the average age would be around 7-10 years. Overall it is a sweet, youthful drop with a technical twist. I might be wrong but hey, it’s fun and that’s the purpose of this code isn’t it? 😉

✓ [Recommended if you like the style/ distillery]

[48% • Original Bottling • Limited Edition • 10000 Bottles • No Age Statement / 2018 Bottled • t-]

-Esmond

Dram Review: Samaroli The Glenlivet 1976

[45.0%・25 Years Old・Distilled in 1976・Bottled in 2001・Samaroli Bottling・Cask No. 5521・Single Cask Release of 648 Bottles]

Nose:

Ahhh, this is nice, soft English toffee, Muscovado sugar, and buttero leather; red tea with just a bit of gingery kick.  Beautifully Sherried in such a manner that embodies the characters of Italian independent bottling as the malt moves in to accentuate the creaminess, so elegant and full bodied, hints of chocolate, oak and aged cigar leaves in time.

Palate & Finish:

This is a wonderful Sherry cask, Christmas cake and syrupy red berries with just a spike of gingery and cinnamon notes, ever so gently pleasing with the wonderful tannins softly layered on, bringing out more dried fruits and berries along the way.

The tannins elongate in the finish, letting out some menthol and vintage leather with the Sherry creaminess mellowing things out, hints of strawberry preserve to give this lingering enjoyment.

Thoughts:

Such dreamy elegance, this really is a great Italian style Sherry cask, one of many from that era but still one for the ages.. this is really lovely.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

Whisky Review: The Glenlivet Archive 21 Years of Age Batch 0414N

Style: Rich and Fruity

Nose:
Starts with a faint whiff of gunpowder, leading to poached pears and black currants. Ginger spice shoots through all layers, berries compote lightly dipped in honey vanilla milk, whereas soft oatmeal trail tracing at the back. A nice fragrant fruity core, unfortunately maybe it is slightly tainted by sulphur.

Palate:
Dazzling array of red fruits delivered at perfect weight. Forest berries, sugar plums and poached pears lifted up by fresh ginger and grassy notes. Sulphur notes diminished and lurking in the background. Just as some raisin chocolate is building up, the sweetness hits the brake at the back while barley and oak giving a stringent finish.

Finish:
Grapes and plums lightly powdered with milk chocolate. Tannic oak lingers till the end.

Thoughts:
A fragrant Glenlivet presented in such a comfortable manner. The expression is nicely tidied up to highlight the charming synergy between sherry-fruits and ginger spice at the core. Perhaps it is designed to be easy-drinking while showing a decent level of maturation. Although there are a couple of minor blips, it is still a rather decent dram, close to 1 star.

[Recommended if you like the style/ distillery]

[43% • Original Bottling • Batch 0414N • General Release • 2014 Bottled • t+]

-Esmond

Whisky Review: Artist #5 Glenlivet Aged 40 Years by La Maison du Whisky

Style: Sherry and Oaky

Nose:

Floral nectar crystallizing nicely at the front, sugared cranberries adding an extra sweet touch to the aroma. Early oak presence as we have generous amount of saw dust tipped and stirred into the mix. Sherry notes drilled into the core, ripe red mangoes underlined by chilli spices. Coconut shreds, a tiny dash of vanilla cream, followed by white pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon. Full-bodied sweetness supported by timber notes and assorted spices.

Palate:

More delicate sweet mango notes at the first wave. Sultanas running in liquid form, all nice and sweet not for long as wood shavings infiltrate and deeply etched into the spirit. A flash of clean cranberries with subtle black currants on the side. Going drier towards the back, bitter oak and cereal notes forming a bizarre duo which is somehow rescued by bright ginger.

Finish:

Mangoes and apricots beaming positively as the oak fades. Honeycomb with a bite of malt biscuit, bitterness stacks up again at the very end.

Thoughts:

The injection of sweet sherry has somehow managed to semi-unlock/resuscitate the oak-entrenched Glenlivet. The portion which has escaped from the bitter shackles put up a glamorous display of delicious fruits and sharpness. However, the rest is having a hard time which makes me think the spirit is unfortunately flawed. There are a few good moments for sure, but the ride has been bumpy and scary.

✓ [Recommended if you like the style/ distillery]

[46.8% • Independent Bottling • 1974 Distilled • 2015 Bottled • 240 Bottles • Initial maturation of Hogsheads(!), finish in a Sherry Butt for 45 months • Cask #1 • t]

-Esmond

Whisky Review: The Glenlivet XXV Batch 0115B

Style: Fruity and Spicy

Nose:

Round red fruits-citrus sweetness wrapping around fresh ginger slices on the nose. Barley husk sprinkling over a layer of vanilla agar agar pudding. Hints of earthy five spices. Aroma nicely sharpened, sweet and refreshing, quite nice.

Palate:

Red cherries and red currants taking on a strong ginger-lemon gust and fly high. Navel oranges and caramel popcorn condense at the core, peppermint leaves lightly burnt on top. Assorted spices forming a strong spirit backbone which pierces through all the layers. Oak, barley and white pepper combined in a peculiarly dry fashion. Dry and gingery towards the end.

Finish:

Beautiful red fruit-citrus notes surge back. Resounding sweetness taking a touch of minty spices. Nice.

Thoughts:

A pleasant, easy-drinking Glenlivet, but at the same time we have multiple layers stringing together nicely to offer a good level of complexity. Despite there are some strange moments down the road (I suspect there’re a few naughty virgin oak casks), ultimately it is still reasonably balanced and delicious.

☆ [Recommended]

[43% • Original Bottling • Finished in first fill Oloroso Sherry Cask • Circa 2015 • Batch Number: 0115B • Aged 25 Years • *]

-Esmond

Dram Review: Berry Bros & Rudd Glenlivet 1973 Aged 38 Years Cask Ref. 10658

[48.6%・38 Years Old・Distilled in 1973・Bottled in 2012・Berry Bros & Rudd Bottling・Cask No. 10658・Single Cask Release]

Nose:

Beautiful aromas of fruity nectar, vanilla and ripe banana peels swirling together with minerals as tame mahogany and a lager note continue to develop in a stately manner.

Palate & Finish:

Red tea and juicy cherries unfolding out of the velvety mouthfeel of maple syrup and lemony goodness, a nick of ginger comes along on the mid-palate as green plums and popcorn melt classily into the background.

Espresso and bitter chocolate in the finish but also hints of light white peaches to give the dram a subtly uplifting end.

Thoughts:

Such a gracefully presented Sherried Glenlivet, its luscious fruitiness at this age is particular alluring.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: SMWS 2.98 Glenlivet “Frothy Cappuccino”

[58.2%・13 Years Old・Distilled in 2003・Bottled in 2017・SMWS Bottling・Single Cask Release of 166 Bottles]

Nose:

Syrup drenched walnuts with a lemony undertone.  Thick caramel intercepted by a sharpness from the spirit and the wood.

Palate & Finish:

Cask-led vanilla with a thick creaminess which as the name of the dram has suggested, feels frothy.  Orchid fruits brushed with chocolate dust; quite a bite from the spices.

The spices run on with sprinkles of chocolate dust and cinnamon sugar.

Thoughts:

It’s been a while since the Society has bottled a Glenlivet, though on the punchy side this is still quite lively, welcome back you feisty “2”..

Nicholas

Whisky Review: Silver Seal “Whisky is Art” Glenlivet 1979 35 Years Old

Style: Sherry and Complex

Nose:
Quince, dark prunes lightly veiled by surprising vibrant ginger spice at this archaic age. Brown sugar clusters around salted caramel pecans. Next we have raisins and roasted almonds. Multiple layers of red fruits on display here… Quite enjoyable.

Palate:
Effortless, elegant entrance, a mix of umeboshi and salted caramel sauce on the palate. Ginger spice surges while red fruits run deeper and resonates beautifully. Rather dense quince levitated by bright cranberry juice. Again, multiple layers of red fruits – ruby grapes, sugar roasted almonds, liquorice delivering at just the right balance. Soft, cereal malt to finish.

Finish:
Slightly winey, raisin chocolate opens up to more high flying ruby fruits and vanilla malt. Another touch of salt, nice finish.

Thoughts:
A beautifully aged sherry Glenlivet with a nice little twist, showcasing multiple facets of red fruits, smooth sweetness with splendid depth while the gingery spirit injects a nice vibrancy into the whisky. A very complete whisky, reaffirms my love of sherried Glenlivet, sheer elegance.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

[51.3% • 2014  Independent Bottling • Single Cask • Cask Strength • Non Coloured • Non Chill Filtered • Cask Number: 6100 • Bottle Number: 144 of 178 • Limited Release • **]

-Esmond