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.
Nose: Initially a touch shy, but after a short period of resting, offers a rather odd mix of citrus, yeast and rather raw booziness. There’s some earthiness in the background here, and maybe a touch of barley water, but overall, the main thrust is more along the lines of proved yeasty bread dough, and paint thinners. Water does improve things a touch, adding in both pear drops and candied orange peels, but the rawness never quite dissipates.
Taste: Sour and really bitter too. Tinned fruits – quite acerbic – and the tin itself – aluminium. Sharp and tart citrus, with a touch of salt, and quite a lot of white wine (cheap tetrapack stuff). After resting things calm down a bit and we get some apple pastries, and pear juice. Wood is a little uncontrolled here – very bitter and very peppery. It doesn’t sit nicely with the fruits. Water certainly improves things, adding both much needed sweetness, as well as some gentle nuts and golden tobacco.
Finish: Quite long, with tangy citrus and pepper.
This Glenlivet is rather a mess unfortunately. There’s some nice fruitiness buried in here, but raw alcohol, sourness and bitter wood try their hardest to ruin things. Water offers substantial improvement, but then I'm not sure you can really admire a whisky when it needs to be 'fixed’ to be properly enjoyable.