Welcome to day two of my summaries of the last month’s tasting adventures, and it’s straight on with the show.
Next up in this Whisky Tasting Pentathlon is a highlight from Ian Logan’s tasting at Glenlivet during our press jolly. Unfortunately we missed the first part of this tasting as we were busy interviewing Master Distiller Alan Winchester at the time, but we managed to get back at just the right moment to try this little beauty, bottled to celebrate the distillery’s extension.
Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve 21yo, 55.6%
Nose: Heavy sherry influence. Some balsamico notes, then thick resin and assertive oak. Quite fresh and lively despite all this intensity. Notes of porridge, flapjacks, then wool and tweed, then back to the bakery for gingerbread and biscuits.
Palate: Pretty full. Quite citrussy and nutty; grapefruit and sugared almonds, then becoming more like a chunky homemade marmalade with big slabs of Seville orange peel. Big-boned, oaky spice comes through mid-palate. A polished, sweet, oaky malt with plenty of dried ginger, clove and mixed peel. The wood influence is prominent without becoming domineering, as there’s plenty going on elsewhere.
Finish: Warming, with peppery spice and dry wood tannins, esp at full strength.
Comment: An excellent malt with just the right sort of gravitas for what was a special occasion. Hefty, maybe even haughty, this is very well-constructed, uncompromising whisky, as dense and solid as the extremely heavy hunk of oak it arrives in.
There are 1824 bottles of this, available only at the distillery at present. I think they said the price was £250, but don’t quote me on that. As is generally the case with aged Glenlivet, it’s a cracking dram at full strength.