Distillery Bottlings

Posted 31 January 2019

Glenlivet Code follows on from similar mystery expressions Alpha (2013) and Cipher (2016) in that the whisky is presented without any cask information or tasting notes. Indeed, even the bottles from this ongoing series are presented in opaque black glass to hide any preconceptions around the colour of the liquid. The only information provided is the ABV of 48% and the price - £99.95 from Master of Malt. That said, if you think about the wider whisky market, you’ll find plenty of NAS bottles where behind the glossy marketing there’s a similar impervious lack of information, so at least Glenlivet are providing an element of fun with it.

Posted 27 July 2017

At the end of 2010, Glenlivet launched the 'Founder's Reserve'. A 21 year old whisky, bottled at 55.6% ABV, with an outturn of just 1824 bottles (a reference to the year the distillery opened) and presented in a smart wooden box with clever magnetic clasps. It was really rather a good thing indeed. In 2015 Glenlivet released a new Founder's Reserve. Bottled at 40% it comes wrapped in paper not too dissimilar to a hobos’ brown-bagged takeout. It's a totally different thing, and unfortunately not a particularly good thing.

Posted 18 October 2017

Glenlivet was the first distillery to take out a licence after the 1823 Excise Act became law – a milestone which marks the official starting point for the modern whisky industry (and a move away from illicit distilling). The initial success of Glenlivet resulted in many other distilleries adopting the name ‘Glenlivet’ as a prefix to their own distillery name in an attempt to muscle in on the success of the brand. After much legal wrangling, a compromise was found – whilst other distilleries could still use the prefix, only Glenlivet could call itself ‘The Glenlivet’.

Independent Bottlings


Posted 13 April 2018

This Glenlivet was distilled in August of 1974 and then matured for 16 years (presumably in an ex-bourbon barrel) until it was bottled in October of 1990.

Posted 13 April 2018

This Glenlivet was distilled in June of 1972 and then matured for 17 years (presumable in ex-bourbon) until being bottled in September of 1990.


Posted 13 May 2022

At its original strength of 65% this Glenlivet would have previously looked and tasted something like the frenetically sherried, tactical nuclear Signatory releases that seems to greatly appeal to the particularly masochistic part of the market. If you’ve not tried one of those – you really should. And then you should hastily reach for your water pipette and think calming thoughts about balanced whisky. Fortunately for everyone else Sponge Edition 57 eschews the need for post-drinking cosmetic reconstructive surgery and presents us with a 1st fill sherry hogshead at a much less hazmat ABV of 53%. Yours for £135 from Decadent Drinks.

Gordon & MacPhail

Posted 10 January 2019

The first of two TWE exclusives released just before Christmas 2018 is a refill ex-bourbon Glenlivet. Distilled in 2003 and then matured in a single cask for 15 years, this was bottled by Gordon & MacPhail under their Connoisseurs Choice range. 176 bottles at 59.4% have been produced and are still available (as of writing) from The Whisky Exchange for £99.95 a pop.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Posted 06 July 2018

There’s only two overtly sherried numbers in this month’s out turn – this 10 year old Glenlivet is one of them. Drawn from a 1996 1st fill butt. Deep, Rich & Dried Fruits profile.

Posted 14 November 2019

A straight-forward Glenlivet that’s maintained a high ABV during its 12 year 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel maturation.

View on SMWS

Posted 15 June 2018

Distilled in September of 2005, this Glenlivet has matured in a refill ex-bourbon barrel for 14 years. Sweet, Fruity and Mellow profile.

Posted 01 October 2020

An 18 year old Glenlivet that’s been matured in a refill ex-bourbon barrel for 18 years. And depending on where you shop not all that more expensive than the official bottling – but delivered with a substantially higher ABV.

View on SMWS

Signatory Vintage

Posted 06 September 2018

The Whisky Exchange’s exclusives tend to be a little bit more expensive than other retailers – but in my experience their cask selections are usually excellent. There’s been more than one occasion when I’ve sampled a variety of near sister casks from retailers and considered the TWE version the best of the bunch.

Posted 08 June 2020

There’s a world of difference between someone who enjoys an occasional dram down the local boozer at the end of a long week and someone who self-identifies as a whisky devotee. A wider level of experience, a (sometimes) deeper level of knowledge, and more than likely - an innate proclivity to discover the outer limits of aroma, flavour and intensity. Nowhere is this penchant for discovering powerful (sometimes outlandishly so) whiskies more visible than with the appreciation of peated and sherried whiskies. Whilst the two styles can often be disparate (but equally highly sought after when combined) – their modern renderings provide enthusiasts with exploratory temptations – How intense and concentrated can flavours be? How peaty can it get before it’s repellent and/or a phenolic health hazard? How heavily sherried can a whisky become all semblance of the distillate is lost behind a wall of sweetness and wood tannins? And do you even care, so long as it’s as dark as pitch?

Posted 24 June 2019

There’s been a handful of heavily sherried high octane Signatory Glenlivet’s over the last few years.  This 2007 12 year old is the next of them. Drawn from a 1st fill sherry hogshead (#900216) after 12 years of maturation and bottled at 54.1% ABV. Available from The Whisky Exchange for £89.95.

Posted 14 September 2020

The fate of casks is often decided before their birth – sourced, purchased, filled, monitored and disgorged to fulfil a forecasted future need. Whilst the industry loves to spin yarns about happenstances, twists of fate and barrel disappearance (and associated miraculous reappearances) the reality of inventory management, particularly in the digitised era necessitates that every cask is filled with a purpose in mind. There’s just too much long-term investment at stake to be filling for fillings sake. A predeliction foir either ex-bourbon or sherry - depending on the distillery’s chosen style and distillate character - will often be found as cask filling mainstay. Ol’ reliable. But even experimental casks are ‘born’ with an intention - to assess the versatility of a spirit to more unusual wood types, fill types and/or maturation conditions. Nothing is done by accident, no matter how hard the marketing tries to persuade you.

That Boutique-y Whisky Company

Posted 02 December 2017

It’s time to commence the joy that is the annual Christmas calendar - and this year we’re going full Boutique-y for the next 24 days. The Dramble will be bringing you tasting notes of each and every dram in the lovely looking Boutique-y Whisky Company calendar, posting the following day – to give us time to sample and write our notes, and of course, to not spoil the surprise for those of you who open your doors a little later in the day. So, deep breath, let’s make a start…..innnnn one…..



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