Speyside-Glenlivet 18 Years Old 1995 – Small Batch

Single malt scotch whisky

62.8% ABV, £60 for 70cl

Score: 83/100

speyside-glenlivet-18-year-old-1995-small-batch-wm-cadenhead-whisky

What they say:

An independent bottling of singe malt Scotch whisky from the Speyside distillery, bottled by WM Cadenhead. It was distilled in 1995 and matured in 1 Sherry butt and 1 hogshead for 18 years. It was bottled in 2014 with an outturn of 738 bottles for their Small Batch range.

Nose: Rich fruity notes, hints of chocolate and coal dust.  Touches of treacle toffee and also creme caramel.

Taste: Chewy and mouth coating sherry notes.  Orange peel, black cherries and lots of creamy notes. 

Finish: Long lasting with dark fruits, faint toffee notes and lots of raisins

What I say:

Sadly I was unable to attend the final tasting of the Water Of Life Society in 2014 due to work commitments taking me to Brighton for the week. During this tasting the WOLS presented their fantabulous Awards and also partook of some fantastic drams, this being one of them.

Colour:

Refractive amber gold, light tears

Nose:

Fruity and spicy, mulled fruit punch, spirit/feinty spiciness from the alcohol, deep fruit, musty oak, cinnamon-spiced baked apple chunks, blackberry and blackcurrant jam on toasted brown bread, with water: not much reduction but the presence of gristy cereal barley malt became apparent

Taste:

Hot, spicy, chilli prickly heat, sugary/syrupy, toffee, oak, dry spiciness, fruit jam and honey sweetness, apple and blackberry strudel with cinnamon, with a little water: creamy vanilla custard and grilled coconut were also revealed

Finish:

Short, acidic, alcohol burn, heart-warming, ascerbic, oaky wood, with water: spicy pepper and sour lemon barley sugars

Overall:

I found this dram a little challenging, it needs water and it takes water very well – a sure sign of a good whisky. There is a strange mix from the Sherry Butt and Hogshead combination which throws out some interesting aromas and flavours, however I found much less sherry-influence here than the official tasting notes – perhaps I hadn’t added enough water?