I’ve hosted my own tasting, I’ve been to paired down multiple expression tastings. But this was my first proper sponsored tasting event. The Hyatt Regency’s Six Resto Lounge hosted a Glenlivet exploration, showcasing there new Founders Reserve, then following it up with a solid showing of Glenlivet 15yr and rounding it out with the Glenlivet Nadurra.
Now, the stand out difference between the previous iterations has to be the addition of a stand out brand ambassador for Glenlivet (Pernod-Ricard), Frank Biskupek.
The added information and expert presence elevated the night from a group of like minded people enjoying a dram to a captivating learning experience both anecdotal and factual. Helpful hints on better nosing, to construction of the casks to give the various flavour profiles that result in the wonderful range of expressions. An incidental bonus is listening to Frank’s roguish brogue, as he regales his audience with stories of ‘Josie’s’ well, the original source of water for Glenlivet. The same source is still used but the water is now diverted directly to the distillery and helps produce the over 15 million litres of product.
The event was attended by about 25 people ranging from a corporate group of ten to some private wine importers..whisky enthusiasts. Even a couple having a date night. Something for everyone. And me, the guy with the notepad, taking forever to sip and let the taste sink in. The staff were courteous and unobtrusive, passing by cleansing amuse-bouches between each dram.
This event is clear and away the most fun I’ve had drinking quality expressions with strangers. Furthermore the price tag of 22$ is more than reasonable.
The whisky evaluations will be generalized as this posting is proving that I might need solitude to give an individual expression it’s due.
Starting with the Founders Reserve, a new offering from Glenlivet. It positions itself as a great entry into the night. The nose gives off a confident citrucy oak. The palate turns the rather simple nose intro a more nuanced and deep experience. The first sip tingles the tip of your tongue and then proceeds to hug you all the waydown. The finish stays comfortably in the mouth and holds well.
The 15yr has a sweet and spicy nose, and the palate makes your mouth water for more, with a smooth citrucy wave that folds over to creamy hints of vanilla and oak.
The Nadurra was the stand out expression of the night, it has the brilliance of flavour from the first fill ex-bourbon casks. The nose is neutral and unassuming, it doesn’t give away the surprise. The surprise is a full mouth experience, the flavours of robust citrus and vanilla that roll around and hug the senses. It reminds me of a super smooth bourbon that I couldn’t afford. It doesn’t burn, it glides down the throat and opens up into a slight banana mellowness and transitions to light pleasant tingling.
All in all this is an experience to do again, and again.