Review – Glenlivet Guardians Single Cask Edition
Limited edition bottlings are nothing new in the whisky world, with many brands fully aware of their appeal to those with a real interest in the category. It is less common however, although commendable, to see a brand release a product that may only be purchased by those individuals who have taken the time to demonstrate their interest through joining a membership programme, albeit one that is free.
Released in May 2012 and limited to just 631, the Glenlivet Single Cask Edition is available to buy only by members of the Glenlivet Guardians community. The whisky is aged in second-fill sherry casks that were filled on 18th December 1992, and is released at the cask strength of 55.7% abv. The cask to be released was selected in 2011 by 11 international members of the Glenlivet Guardian community together with brand ambassador Ian Logan.
Nose: Aroma’s of gingerbread, dried fruit, honey, milky porridge, and fresh orange zest offer up a powerful but refined entrance, with the bite of cask-proof alcohol to ensure the sense are fully awakened. A few drops of water subdues the alcohol just enough to bring out notes of play dough, copper and the faintest hint of heather.
Neat: Immediately soft in the mouth, the warmth of the cask-strength proof builds and with it brings a crescendo of flavours. Despite the strength, there is no hint of burn and actually the flavours retain a softness to offer a wonderful contrast of textures in the mouth. Moderately peaty with a hint of the medicinal, this is also tangy with sour honey, gingerbread, orange, salted caramel and a good whack of vanilla. It’s a combination of flavours that takes some time to get accustomed to, but it certainly grows in stature the more time that is spent with it. The finish is huge and honeyed but without being too sweet, a perfect end to a cracking whisky.
The Glenlivet Guardians Single Cask Edition is a real treat for those who like their Speyside whisky. It’s full-flavoured and complex profile is certainly worth joining the community for the opportunity to buy.
The Glenlivet Guardians Single Cask Edition is available to buy from the Whisky Exchange by members of the Glenlivet Guardian community
★: Terrible, only drink for a dare.
★★: Meh, not undrinkable but best left alone.
★★★: Reasonable, middle of the road.
★★★★: Tasty stuff, well worth seeking out.
★★★★★: Incredible, booze doesn’t get better than this. You need a bottle in your life.