The Glenlivet Tasting:
The club had the pleasure of a guided tasting with Frank The Glenlivet Ontario ambassador. We were all enthralled with the detailed guided tours supplemented by some fascinating whiskey stories. Frank brought 4 scotches for the main tasting. Founders’ Reserve, 12 Year, 15 Year and finally 18 Year. The tasting took just under an hour while Frank treated up to an oral history of The Glenlivet, mixed in with personal Glenlivet stories, including his trips to Scotland. After the 4 tastings Frank surprised the group by pulling out a special bottle he had hiding in his trunk. We had the enjoyment of tasting The Glenlivet Nadurra First Fill Selection. Overall a great guided tour, thank you Frank and Glenlivet, now time for detailed tasting notes below:
Founders’ Reserve: Sweet fruit notes of oranges and pears with the hint of apple toffee. Great smooth finish with a touch of cream. You can almost taste hints of the over 23 whiskeys that were blended together for this complex dram. Overall a fantastic whiskey that is available at the LCBO for just over $50.
12 Year: Little touch of a floral note mixed with fresh peaches and pears. Touch of vanilla and sweet honey. Finished smooth with a light spiciness mixed with a nutty note… I can’t quite place the type of nut, maybe a hazelnut flavour.
15 Year: A slightly darker version compared to the 12 year, this 15 year iteration has a sweet balanced flavour with the traditional fruitiness rounded out by a touch of cinnamon and spice, almost like the oatmeal flavour from when you were a kid.
18 Year: A balanced darker finish as this gets the bourbon and sherry cask treatment to make it quite distinct from the other three tasters. Smooth balanced flavour with a burst of spice mixed with oranges or orange peel and a nice oaky toasted touch. The sherry cask finish is one of my favourites.
Nadurra First Fill Selection: For this one I will consult The Glenlivet web site so you get the full picture; Nàdurra, meaning “natural” in Gaelic, is The Glenlivet’s range of small-batch expressions made using traditional 19th-century techniques. The Nàdurra First Fill is drawn from casks made of American white oak which have never before been used to mature Scotch whisky. These oak casks, which distillers at The Glenlivet have favoured since the early 1900s, impart hints of creamy vanilla to this wonderfully rich single malt.
You can really taste the difference with the different finish of a virgin oak barrel, sweet pear and pineapple notes with a touch of citrus followed by a bit of a spicy finish as this bottling is a little strong at 48% ABV. Great overall Glenlivet expression.
My favourite of the night is the one I am most likely to purchase in the near future the Founders Reserve. I absolutely loved the expression, was a perfectly balanced blend. Who needs a date on the bottle to enjoy Whiskey? Not this guy.
Overall a huge thank you to The Glenlivet and Frank for the fantastic tasting and history lesson!