Google Time Warp Sessions,today Glenlivet
 
 

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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!
   
   
 

January 9, 2020


Whiskyfun

Time Warp

The Time Warp Sessions,
today Glenlivet

Since I’ve discovered a wonderful video of the Sun Ra Arkestra playing at the Chivas Jazz Festival in Brazil around twenty years ago, I’m going all Pernod today…

Glenlivet 19 yo ‘Campdalemore’ (58.1%, OB, cask # 35239, 2015)

Glenlivet 19 yo ‘Campdalemore’ (58.1%, OB, cask # 35239, 2015) Four stars
This was an official single cask. I have to say these bottlings are not very talked about amongst the whisky chatterattis, I don’t know why. Colour: full gold. Nose: barley, milk chocolate, brioche, cakes, fudge, butterscotch, malty beer. Fine, just not out of this world, but I suppose that’s down to a pretty ‘commercial’ (nothing bad to that) profile. Not really characterful, shall we say. With water: Ovaltine! Mouth (neat): very good this time, I have to say. Ale, marmalade, sour beer, chestnuts, and loads of chocolate. Stout. With water: oranges come out. And more stout. Finish: rather long, brioche-y and chocolaty, with really a lot of Ovaltine/Ovomaltine in the aftertaste. A little water, and presto, breakfast! Comments: the three names that have become almost unrecognisable when you compare old and newer bottlings are, indeed, Glenlivet, Glen Grant, and of course Macallan. Was there a meeting of the boards sometime, somewhere? But then again, new drinkers won’t have tried the older juices, but hey, they could read good whisky blogs! More seriously, this strangely named camp de la mort (death camp) was really very good, just pretty ‘modern’. Excellent chocolate stout.
SGP:551 - 87 points.

Glenlivet 15 yo (100°proof, Gordon & MacPhail, 26 2/3 fl.ozs, 1960s)

Glenlivet 15 yo (100°proof, Gordon & MacPhail, 26 2/3 fl.ozs, 1960s) Five stars
Complete with the stencilled bottle, ‘De Luxe quality’,  and a torn label. Psst, these ones are sure bets at auctions. Colour: deep gold. Nose: this is what you never get in newer bottlings (in any of the aforementioned names); meat, bouillons, tertiary notes, old jams, old wines and meads, and all things chestnutty. Not that those are mandatory in any whisky, but when they do show up, you’re in for a treat. Which is the case here, as you may have guessed. Some wee whiffs of pinewood smoke too, that always works. With water: h.o.n.e.y.s.! And pipe tobacco, third-tier marmalade, marzipan, and amaretti. Mouth (neat): glorious, as expected. Many fruits, jams, jellies, chutneys, salty and spicy things, marrows, greases, soups… And spices as well. Caraway and tarry nuts (tarry nuts?) With water: oh no, these small herbs and flowers, woodruff, angelica, mullein, spearmint! Finish: it’s absolutely amazing that this baby would have developed this many tiny herbs and flowers. That’s the sign of a grand aged spirit, and not something you would find very often in simpler contemporary offerings. Chocolate, smoke, chicken bouillon and orange blossom water in the aftertaste. Comments: is that really all down to better sherry casks?
SGP:662 - 92 points.

That’s the thing with modern whisky, it’s simpler. Sometimes extremely good, but simpler. Let’s have more Glenlivet…

Glenlivet 20 yo 1995/2016 (57.2%, Signatory Vintage, The Un-Chillfiltered Collection, for Taiwan, First Fill Sherry Butt, cask #166957, 563 bottles)

Glenlivet 20 yo 1995/2016 (57.2%, Signatory Vintage, The Un-Chillfiltered Collection, for Taiwan, First Fill Sherry Butt, cask #166957, 563 bottles) Four stars and a half
We’ll do this fast, as almost all these sherried 1995s by SigV have been boringly great anyway. Colour: red amber. Nose: maraschino everywhere! Then raisins, grouse, and Nuits-St-Georges. What you never get when you do a lousy pinot noir finish, I would say. With water: gets very soup-y. Marrow soup, bouillons, Irish stews, perhaps even lamb chorba… Mouth (neat): great, tense, sharp and rich, on blood oranges and bitter chocolate, plus salty soups, raspberry ganache, and blackberry jam. With water: yup yup yup. Perhaps just a wee tad gritty, but we’re splitting hairs once again. Finish: long. Who distilled these Chambertins? Comments: misses the 90-mark because of that gritty tannicity in the end, but no quibbles here, it’s a great bottle, as expected.
SGP:651 - 89 points.

Back to the OBs…

Glenlivet 16 yo 2001/2017 (57.5%, OB, Distillery Reserve Collection, second fill sherry butt, cask #6060, 768 bottles)

Glenlivet 16 yo 2001/2017 (57.5%, OB, Distillery Reserve Collection, second fill sherry butt, cask #6060, 768 bottles) Four stars
Second fill, that’s cool as well. Colour: gold. Nose: I don’t know why, all OBs are shier, more self-restrained, more on tranquil cakes shall I say. Scones and shortbreads, fudge, and malty beer. This is perfectly all right, it's just that I won’t remember it forever – and that’s not just Alzheimer’s. With water: distilled ale. Hold on, isn’t that the exact definition of whisky? Mouth (neat): good of course, sweet, malty and cake-y, a tad ale-y and a little bitter. Some disturbing rubber in there, but I’m sure water will fix that. With water: I was right (shh-shh), this baby became a rather perfect malty and cake-y dram once reduced. Cinnamon rolls, chestnut purée, shortbread, sweet ale… Finish: medium, a little sweeter, cake-y, with some fudge and even more puréed chestnuts than before. Comments: the exact definition of some very good malt whisky. Right in the core of Scotch whisky.
SGP:551 - 85 points.

Someone really mad would now look for some very old Glenlivet before calling this a proper tasting session. Unless, wait, said person would first stumble upon some mad 2007s.

Glenlivet 12 yo 2007/2019 (54.1%, Signatory Vintage for The Whisky Exchange, 1st Fill Sherry Hogshead, cask #900216, 329 bottles)

Glenlivet 12 yo 2007/2019 (54.1%, Signatory Vintage for The Whisky Exchange, 1st Fill Sherry Hogshead, cask #900216, 329 bottles) Three stars and a half
Colour: amber. Nose: this time there’s more chocolate than in chocolate, as well as a little sawdust, teak oil, and just a new (stupid) chair from IKEA’s. With water: new MacBook (terrible, really, keep and cherish the old ones!) or anything from the internet of things, what we now call the internet of, ach, err, the internet of s**t,  and carbon paper. Who’s still using carbon paper? Mouth (neat): very good, perhaps just a tad too extractive. I mean, the oak’s not exactly shy here. A feeling of plum jam too. With water: good, jammier, less oaky, better balanced, and simple. That’s the thing, it’s pretty simple whisky.  Finish: rather long, on oak and blacker jams. Blueberry, blackberry, damsons… Comments: I think I liked last year’s 11yo much better. This is a little, yeah, simple, and yet very good.
SGP:651 - 83 points.

Glenlivet 10 yo 2007/2018 (66.5%, Signatory Vintage for La Maison du Whisky, Artist #8, sherry, cask # 900192, 306 bottles)

Glenlivet 10 yo 2007/2018 (66.5%, Signatory Vintage for La Maison du Whisky, Artist #8, sherry, cask # 900192, 306 bottles) Three stars
Attempted murder on so-called whisky blogger, you are a witness now! Colour: amber. Nose: looks like there are some dried dates and figs, but also that I could make even better use of my nostrils in the coming hours. That is why we’ll thwart this attack right away. With water: bourbon! Not the first time that happens when whiskies are this strong, water would just bring out notes of bourbon – whether sherry or not. How bizarre… Mouth (neat): orangettes dipped into chocolate and ginger liqueur, that’s all I’m getting at 66% vol. Aren’t there laws? With water: amazing how water made this one warm, almost hot. I mean, figuratively, we’re talking temperatures. Like, from 20°C to 25°C in a flash! Other than that, we have oranges, chocolate, ginger liqueur, Chambord, Aperol, and other rather subversive stuff. Finish: long and Aperoly indeed. Quite some spicy oak. Comments: seriously, I’m not too sure. Not that we obligatorily need subtleties and refinements, but this really is some panzerish malt.
SGP:561 - 82 points.

Perseverare humanum est, as they say in D.C. Let’s see whether thee are right…

Glenlivet 11 yo 2007/2018 (66.8%, Signatory Vintage for The Whisky Barrel, 1st fill sherry hogshead, cask #900134, 315 bottles)

Glenlivet 11 yo 2007/2018 (66.8%, Signatory Vintage for The Whisky Barrel, 1st fill sherry hogshead, cask #900134, 315 bottles) Three stars
Utter madness one again. Colour: amber. Nose: chocolate sauce and kerosene. I mean, this is funny for sure, but it is t.o.o. s.t.r.o.n.g. With water: sour walnut wine, ginger wine, brine… Mouth (neat): yeah right. Very good, very spicy, burning. Reminds of that time when a good friend who used to be a copywriter in America (whatever) mailed me some kind of GMO chilli that he had named himself ‘The End Of The World’. He was a very good copywriter. With water: with really a lot of water, you would manage to take it down to approachable honeyness and marmalades. But a lot of work is needed. Finish: long, oaky, too much. Comments: you could call this the doom-metal-hard-rock of whisky if you wished. Not that I always need Vivaldi or Haendel, but frankly, you need to be the king of the pipette masters to start to really enjoy these funny monsters. Too much for me.
SGP:461 - 82 points.

We’ve got many more but it would be better to have a very old one instead, as the definitive signature.

Smith’s Glenlivet 1949 (Proof strength, Archie Kirkland of Glasgow, pure malt whisky, early 1960s?)

Smith’s Glenlivet 1949 (Proof strength, Archie Kirkland of Glasgow, pure malt whisky, early 1960s?) Five stars
Proof strength means around 57% vol., pure malt means single malt, and Glasgow means Glasgow. There’s a ‘Kirkland’ brand that’s still around with supermarket-quality whiskies, but I doubt those are related in any ways. I’m also sure some whisky historians would find out, but I’m just a humble not-so-skilled taster from Eastern France. Colour: straw. Nose: no high-impact oldie this time, rather a fine-ish salty, metallic and bouillony nose, lacking fruit to make it kind of sexy. Remember, not all old bottles are utter gems (are you listening, China?) With water: just beeswax everywhere. Mouth (neat): it is very good this time, very powerful, very 100 proof, quite waxy, and rather on crystallised citrus and salty mineral waxes. Glenlivet was much, much closer to, say Springbank at that time. Beautiful old-Highlandness, in fact, it’s just the nose that’s a little more uncertain. With water: wonderful but then again, you start to think about Highland Park, Clynelish, or Springbank, and you start to hold your horses. Finish: very long, waxy, herbal and mineral, very old-Highlands, with this very particular sootiness that’s now gone in all corners of Scotchland. Comments: not an obvious one, and indeed the nose was a little difficult (a thesis on Trumps’s accession to the White House would be easier to write), but it almost went wild on our palates. I suppose you have to earn these…
SGP:462 - 91 points.

(Merci Angus and François!)

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Glenlivet we've tasted so far

 

 

 
   

 

 

 

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