The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve Launch Tasting at The Whisky Shop
25th February 2015
Following the recent announcement of the replacement of The Glenlivet 12 Years Old by their new Founder’s Reserve expression, The Glenlivet soon went out on the road to bring this expression to Guardians, Fans, Curious onlookers, etc.
After a heads-up via The Glenlivet Guardians network and a keenness to try their newest expression I managed to secure a place at the Founder’s Reserve tasting being held at The Whisky Shop Victoria Street branch in Edinburgh hosted by Brand Ambassador James Collins and joined by other members of The Whisky Shop W club. So with my Glenlivet Guardians hat firmly on, I set off to discover the new no-age statement Founder’s Reserve replacement for the 12 Year Old expression in hope that it was a worthy replacement.
We were expertly guided through some of the core range from The Glenlivet as James informed us of the background to each expression, what to expect from each and also ran a straw poll as to everyone’s favourite as the evening progressed. We had the privilege of sampling the following expressions:
Very impressive, for a no-age statement whisky this had to be a bold flavour-led move by The Glenlivet and they have achieved this in spades. The fruity and light character from the 12 Year Old is here but is supported by a predominantly toffee/caramel from the 1st fill ex-bourbon casks. The result is lively and refreshing compared to the smooth and (for me) forgettable nature of the 12yo. Thankfully no evidence was found of overtly youthful spirit in this expression and the spices give this an interesting lift at the end without being too challenging or pervasive.
I really enjoyed this expression. I have a fondness for French Oak and I love my red wine to be particularly oaky too. It can easily be overdone and my concern was The Glenlivet spirit being too soft and gentle, I needn’t have worried. This is really well put together, balanced and not too deep in flavour as to be challenging.
Outwardly very drinkable and simple but has a lot of rich aged wood character and a rich oily mouthfeel. Sadly for us the spice didn’t seem to come through and I was left with a rich woody aftertaste like caramelised sugars. While it didn’t seem to carry much flavour initially it actually packs quite a punch.
The Glenlivet Archive 21 Years Old, small batch, plenty of sherry maturation and simply delicious. There is a real polished nature to this throughout indicative of its 21 year maturation. This hasn’t been selected for power but more finesse and it has polished up beautifully. If you want to spoil yourself then a bottle of this is a must when the next batch is released!
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!
Massive fruit and nut chocolate bar of a dram – everything I love about Oloroso casks and whisky! Presented at slightly mental strength means even better value for money as this waters down a long way! This here NAS whisky is a lively challenger to Aberlour’s A’Bunadh series – if you like those then you’ll love this!
My Favourite of the evening has to be the XXV expression but the Nadurra Oloroso definitely wins as the most affordable alternative!