Whisky Focus - Guardians’ Of The Glenlivet Express Their Taste For The Exotic

Guardians’ Of The Glenlivet Express Their Taste For The Exotic

12th December 2013
Thousands of whisky fans vote for the Exotic to be the next Glenlivet limited edition expression.

Following a global campaign by The Glenlivet which stretched across 37 countries and has seen thousands of whisky fans casting their votes to select a new limited edition from The Glenlivet, the results have finally been revealed. It appears that the majority of the voters had a preference for the Exotic expression which picked up 39% of the vote.

The winning expression will be named “The Guardians’ Chapter” in recognition of the significant part the distillery’s fan club – The Guardians of The Glenlivet – has made to the voting. The new whisky – which is non-chill filtered, 48.7% proof and a rich, indulgent single malt will be bottled in limited quantities although The Glenlivet haven't revealed how limited and it will be available around the world from March 2014, and you will be pleased to hear it is priced at a very drinkable price of £52/US $85 (or equivalent).

The winning ‘Exotic’ single malt was created using a subtle mixture of casks including Hogsheads and American oak barrels with the addition of a proportion of whisky from Spanish ex-sherry butts to provide a rich, exotic twist. The resulting whisky displays the signature fruitiness of The Glenlivet with the addition of rich, warm spicy notes. Rich and indulgent on the nose, it offers aromas of moist and sweet, candied apples balanced with a hint of orange marmalade. The taste combines juicy raisins with an undertone of dark chocolate orange zestiness, well balanced with a subtle warmth of spice, complementing a long and slightly dry finish.

The campaign began in September 2013, with Master Distiller Alan Winchester revealing the three expressions he had hand-picked for fans to choose from. The three expressions – which were selected to spark debate over single malt style preferences – were named according to their taste profile, with the options being Classic, Exotic and Revival. Fans of the brand were invited to tasting events held across the globe where they sampled and voted for their favourites.

In addition to the tasting events, a series of special evenings entitled the ‘Expression Sessions’ were held in London, New York and Mumbai. Designed to bring the styles of the three expressions to life through aligned cultural interests, the events included a range of speakers, including artists, academics, musicians and explorers. The London event saw design expert, Stephen Bayley, talking about ‘classic’ car design whilst explorer Benedict Allen described what encountering the ‘exotic’ meant to him. Videos and findings from the events can be found on the brand’s website, www.theglenlivet.com.

As you can see from the results table in the end when the votes were finally counted it was a close run race between the three possible expressions. I am pleased that my choice is the overall choice of The Glenlivet fans and I am looking forward to getting my hands on a full bottle come March 2014.

The Glenlivet Guardians Chapter Exotic Tasting Notes

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Ex American and Sherry oak barrels, 48.5% ABV

Nose: Burnt sugar, raisin and fruitcake, toasty vanilla, toffee.

Taste: Rich, full bodied. Burnt raisins, orange, pear, fresh apples, toffee, nutmeg a touch of cinnamon and dry ginger dusted with a gentle sweet vanilla oak spice.

Finish: A deliciously long rich lingering dark sherried mildly drying finish. Some spicy oaky notes.

Comment: Lovely big fruitcake notes as you would expect given the use of ex-Oloroso sherry butts in the creation of the Exotic and these have obviously been quality sherry butts that have been used.

SMW Score 93/100

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