The Glenlivet XXV (43%, OB, 2014)
- 43% ABV, £190 for 70cl
- Score: 90/100
What they say:
Character: The intense and opulent one
Colour: Rich amber with ripe gold hues
Nose: Dark chocolate with scents of dried sultanas
Palate: Silky, sweet and caressing with cinnamon notes
Finish: Incredibly long, rich and balanced
The XXV is a batch-produced whisky finished in individually selected ex-sherry butts.
The Oloroso-soaked oak imparts a nutty spiciness and enriches the flavour of the expression.
Each cask is individually monitored in the finishing process to ensure only the subtlest sherry tones are added to this intense, silky and elegant whisky.
What I say:
Every now and again I come across a Malt that really surprises me. The Glenlivet XXV was one of those. I have a healthy respect for the whisky output from Glenlivet but was slightly disappointed with a recent purchase of the 18 Years Old (The Glenlivet 18 Years Old ~ 43% (Pernod Ricard) ) which didn’t live up to my expectations. Asking around I found several of my friends and fellow whiskyphiles of a similar opinion. Surprisingly then I targeted the XXV as one of my must have drams at the 2014 Whisky Fringe. After tasting a ripple of support for this dram grew by word of mouth and soon we were all espousing the joy at what a wonderful dram it was and how we were all surprised! So the XXV turned out to be one of my top picks from the Whisky Fringe and deserving of a more thorough sampling and analysis:
Dark Copper Gold
Fruit-cake mix/batter, deep sugary and syrupy molasses, fruity – like morello cherries soaked in brandy, baked apples with cinnamon and ginger, creamy butterscotch toffee
Smooth and quite light on the tongue, muscovado sugar sweetness, nutty walnut and praline, dark chocolate, dried fruits; figs, dates and sultana, tangy orange zest or peel (candied), brandy butter
Long, nutty, wood polish and mulling (wine) spices persist
Would I buy it:
Due to the cost, no – but I would highly recommend this whisky for the price bracket. This is a complex and delicious dram redolent with Christmas spices but lovingly wrapped in a walnut cabinet that keeps everything restrained and beautifully in balance. If you are a Glenlivet fan then this will blow you away, and if not then I suspect you soon will be after trying this!