October 27, 2009
The Glenlivet XXV
anxiously eyed the display bottle of The Glenlivet XXV
wobbling slightly on the wee ledge of his podium and declared in his charming Scottish brogue, “If tha bottle falls to tha floor and breaks, I’m going ta haf’ to get down on mee hands and knees and lick tha carpet”.
He had justification for being concerned. Logan , a Global Ambassador for Chivas Bros (parent of The Glenlivet Whisky company ) was in Vancouver to introduce the XXV, a new label for the Glenlivet line that will debut for the first time in Canada at BCLDB branches this Thursday, October 31st. It will retail for $340 CDN per 750 mL bottle.
Like every good Scot worth his family tartan, Logan not only understood the value of a dollar, but also the luxurious nature of this particular whiskey.
Glenlivet, officially known as "THE Glenlivet" to distinguish it from sound alike competitors in the Livet Valley of Scotland, has a reputation built upon since 1824 for producing some of the fruitest and softest of the single malts, and this version offers those selling points plus more. A 1980 vintage selection created by four expert whisky-makers, ‘finished’ in first-fill Oloroso sherry butts for a period of nearly two years, batch numbered and then presented in a crafted wooden box reinforced by limestone, it is a testimony to the care and craftsmanship that the artisan distillers put into its making.
The company already has other products in the Vancouver market and as a lead up to the pouring of the XXV, Logan had led media and buyers though a tasting session at the Shangri-La Hotel for three of them - the 12-, 15- and 18-year olds. See the tasting notes below, as well as more information about the whisky, Glenlivet and the XXV in the photo captions. (A 21-year-old Glenlivet, not present at this tasting, is also currently available for $149.95).
Note: October 31st is not only the launch date of the XXV, but as we all know, it is also Halloween. In honour of this "spirited" occasion, read here for the story of the Glenlivet ghosts.
The Glenlivet 12-year-old
A well-balanced and gentle Scotch, with a floral nose and a smooth palate incorporating light honey sweetness and the flavour notes of sweet summer fruits such as pears and peaches. Light gold colour with bright highlights. Hints of vanilla. Says Ian: “Like a stroll in a highland spring meadow.” ($47.95)
The Glenlivet 15-year-old. French Oak Reserve
Getting spicier. It was easy to pick up lively notes of cinnamon, white pepper and dried orange/citrus in the more robust flavour palate that had been assisted by a finishing in new French Dordogne oak casks. This was our personal favourite in the lower price range. The tasting notes said to expect a long, creamy finish balanced by a teasing spicy dryness, and that, it delivered. ($68.95)
The Glenlivet 18-year-old
Ian Logan’s personal favourite and it’s not difficult to understand why. The 18 blended both fruit (pear) and dry, toasty oak within a restrain and elegant flavour profile. This one makes for a good slow sipper with no distractions present in order to best appreciate the long yet delicately fine finish. ($95.95)
The Glenlivet 25-year-old XXV .
While the other whiskies were varying shades of gold, this one had a beautiful, rich amber hue. The XXV displayed the similar fruity/spicy palate of a typical Glenlivet but with subtle, nutty Oloroso sherry aromas. The fruit was almost raisin-y and the wood even drier. It had a very complex finish that played back and forth through a spectrum of flavour notes that was almost musical. Choose this one only if you have been un-dented by the recession. It may spoil you for the younger members of the family. ($339.95)