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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Single Malt Report: Glenlivet 19 year old 1995 Signatory for Binny's, cask 166947

The Glenlivet three-fer started out oddly yesterday.  In order to get some perspective, I tried that whisky alongside this one, which highlighted the differences between the two.  Though this is also a 19 year old first fill sherry butt of Glenlivet from Signatory's warehouses, it's its own creature.

This single cask was sold exclusively through Binny's, of Chicago fame.  Rather, it IS being sold at Binny's and remains in stock as of today.  This sample comes from the bottle purchased by My Annoying Opinions, as seen in his own review.  Thanks, MAO!

Distillery: Glenlivet
Ownership: Pernod Ricard
Independent Bottler: Signatory
Age: 19 years (1995-2015)
Maturation: first fill ex-sherry butt
Cask#: 166947
Alcohol by Volume: 58.3%
Chillfiltered? No
Caramel Colorant? No
Exclusive to: Binny's

It's the color of Willett rye, a good color.  The nose is dense, tough to sort out at first.  Sort of reminds me of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof bourbon for a few moments, also a positive thing.  Plenty of dark chocolate, cigar tobacco, soy sauce, burnt cherries, mint leaves, and honey.  Whereas yesterday's whisky was hotter than expected, today's nose shows less ethyl than anticipated.  Toffee, honey, and molasses.  Cherry cordials, almonds in dark chocolate.  Not sweet, but calmly dry.  Its long finish has chocolate, walnuts, dry sherry, and a little bit of tangy acidic citrus.

WITH WATER (~46%abv)
The nose clears up a bit, starting with sherry that's short on fruit, but big on nuts.  Um, good writing?  Then cocoa, tobacco, wood smoke, and a hint of prunes.  The palate is spicier, and more peppery, followed by black cherry gelato and an herbal digestif.  It finishes fruiter than before, with some fresh stones fruits (from the spirit?).  Toffee, bitter smoke, tart rhubarb?

It keeps on tickin' at that strength.  How about a little more water?

WITH WATER (~40%abv)
The nose still pretty big.  More stone fruit and flowers.  Tobacco and leather.  The palate reminds me of a younger Glenfarclas.  Dry sherry, dried cherries.  Milk chocolate, black pepper, tart berries.  The sweetness remains in check.  The finish still has a good length.  Very dry, woody, and peppery now.

While yesterday's Glenlivet was full of tongue stripping tannic dryness, today's Glenlivet's dryness comes from the sherry, rendering it more palatable.  It's a solid sherry cask whisky that will appeal to those of us with dry preferences.  Nothing about it really wowed me, but it was much better than its dancing partner.  What did impress was how well it took to water, and that probably wins it a couple more points.  Ultimately my opinion of the sits somewhere between MAO's and WhiskyMusings's.

Availability - Exclusively at Binny's
Pricing - $120
Rating - 86

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