If you’ve ever considered upping your whisky collection game, then this Christmas represents a storming opportunity to buy a rare, coveted whisky. The opportunity arrives courtesy of The Glenlivet, a brand created by George Smith in 1824, and today widely revered as The Definitive Speyside Single Malt, renowned for its heritage as a visionary within the single malt category. And it’s smooth and fruity flavour profile has been delighting gentlemen’s tastebuds ever since.
Fast forward to 2018 and that aforementioned storming opportunity to own a piece of The Glenlivet history – The Glenlivet Single Cask Edition 20 year old. Initially launched at London Heathrow with 222 bottles of 25 year old American Oak Barrel limited edition – which is all now sold out, the new wave is now available at London Gatwick. With collectors turning their attention to the 20 year old American Oak Barrel variant, featuring individually numbered and presented bottles in a prestige hand-crafted wooden case.
Creating a rare whisky and tasting notes
The Glenlivet Single Cask Edition are never the same – with each cask hand selected by experts at The Glenlivet distillery in Scotland. The liquid is bottled at cask strength without chill-filtration, ensuring the whisky captures the rich and distinct flavour of the cask itself. Specifically for the 20 year old American Oak Barrel Limited Edition available at London Gatwick, this process locks in its character, resulting in aromas of sweet white chocolate praline and sugared almonds complemented masterfully by smooth heather honey and a burst of citrus lemon. Tasting notes of warming ginger spice flow through rich fudge and creamy lemon posset, with a background of soft baked apples and sweet toffee, balanced perfectly with a smooth and sweet delicate oak spice finish.
What makes a good investment?
- A Single Malt: A topic of debate, but most whisky connoisseurs believe a single malt is the most superior – a whisky from one single distillery.
- Single Cask: single malts can be blended from various casks, but a single malt from a single cask is a genuine rarity. Single malt matured in one singular cask and bottled straight from the cask ensures the number of bottles are limited and rare – usually just 150-600 bottles per cask. The casks can be American Barrel, Ex-Sherry Butt or Traditional Cask and each brings different flavours to the whisky during maturation.
- Rarity: The rarity of a whisky is generally in parity to the dedication and skill involved in creating it. The more time, attention and care given to the craft, the likelier it is that the number of bottles available will be limited – making it a desirable and discerning collector’s item.
- Age: With age comes wisdom and character but this only counts in the casks, not when stored on the shelf (unlike some wines). Age changes the colour, taste and nose of a whisky. Leaving whisky in barrels for longer develops its maturity, particularly as the casks flavours and colour infuse into the liquid. Generally speaking, younger whiskies taste more ‘aggressive’, whereas more mature whiskies are smoother.
- Uniqueness: Every cask is unique and can never be replicated, which means every bottle of liquid from each cask is, too. This adds to the purity, rarity and exquisite quality that attracts connoisseurs around the world.
“Through the Single Cask Edition, Single Malt enthusiasts can own an exclusive piece of The Glenlivet’s history. Each bottle is the result of a combination of liquid, cask and age and can never be replicated again. Embracing the cask’s original character and flavour, it offers one of the purest Single Malt experiences available and the finished product is a whisky that our founder, George Smith – a man who pioneered the original Speyside style – would be proud of.” – The Glenlivet Master Distiller, Alan Winchester
Verdict – Ape Approved
Firstly – any bottle of The Glenlivet will taste superb. The brands nearly 200 year history can vouch for the whisky making know-how at the distillery near Ballindalloch in Moray, Scotland. As can we. If you’re new to the brand try our favourite – The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve, it boasts the classic flavours of The Glenlivet bound up in a creamy, smooth texture from Traditional Oak and American First Fill barrels with a creamy sweetness and zesty fruits flavour profile.
However, if you’re passing through London Gatwick, nothing will come close to getting hold of one of a handful of 20 year old American Oak Barrel The Glenlivet Single Cask Edition. Priced at RRP £300 it’s an investment whisky or a generous gift. Keep it and watch the value rise, or our preference – drink it with loves ones over the festive period, it’s to be savoured and enjoyed. As before, available exclusively at London Gatwick until stocks last.
A paid partnership with The Glenlivet – words and opinion Ape’s own.