Jul 072018

Signatory has several lines of products, and it seems like we have a new line appearing. Right now, the ‘Small Batch Edition’ appeared in a bottling for the German market. However, it says that it’s edition number one, suggesting a continuation.

Unlike many independent bottlers, vatting a few casks together (OK, you can call them small batches) is something Signatory does across all their ranges. Most of those I’ve seen are two casks, but it’s the same idea. In truth, I think it’s helped the brand deliver over time, as vatting casks of the same vintage and cask type will allow the bottler to smooth out any imperfections a single cask might have.

Signatory Bottles

Photo Credit: whiskyintelligence.com

But this brings me to wonder why we might need yet another line of offerings? Is it the higher strength, at 48.1% ABV (as opposed the 46% of the Un-Chillfiltered Collection)? Perhaps it’s the nature of the casks? Maybe it is the private bottlings for the importers in specific countries?

Whatever the reason, if you prefer a single cask of these, Signatory has a sister cask of the first fill butts (cask #900255) distilled on the same day, available in the Un-Chillfiltered Collection range.


Photo Credit: ewhisky.de

Signatory Small Batch Edition #1 –  Glenlivet Vintage 2007, Two First Fill Butts Distilled 10.4.2007 (900251, 900252) + Three First Fill Hogsheads Distilled 27.3.2007 (900195-900197), Bottled 19.3.2018, 2927 Bottles for Kirsch Whisky Import, German Market (48.1% ABV, NCF, NC)

Appearance: Copper, slow legs, thin droplets coming off a sturdy necklace.

Nose: Vanilla sherry of American oak, saffron and cumin, sour cherry candy and toffee. Allspice appears on the nose with a bit of

Palate: Pepper and vanilla, with hints of honey and cinnamon, bitter caramel taken too far on the fire, with a watered down Americano coffee.

Linger: Sweet and peppery, with cardamom and oak. Pepper with a sweetness sits around the gullet.


Set your expectations on American oak, and you will find that this is almost iconic.

Tasting Scotch Whisky bottled for Germany on a small island in the Baltic Sea with three fabulous Finnish friends. It really doesn’t get much better than that 🙂 

Jul 032018

There’s a bunch of these 2007 Glenlivet sherry casks hitting the market now, and they’re selling out faster than fresh buns. Indeed, there’s an undeniable thirst in the market for sherry and peat, and distilleries are scrambling to fulfill that need. This is obviously easier with peat, and a little more challenging with sherry.

From time to time, you’ll see batches of ‘sister casks’ hitting the market at the same time. You’ll recall the fabulous flood of 1998 Laphroaigs, the delightful deluge of Ledaig 2004-2005 and the current beautiful bounty of Glenlivet casks from recent years. These add an extra dimension in tasting casks side by side, which I’ve been able to do with some of the Laphroaig and Ledaig releases.


Photo Credit: theglenlivet.com

This cask was bottled at cask strength of 66.6%, which in this case is too high to drink, and really requires water, and quite a bit of it.


Photo Credit: Whiskybase Shop

The Ultimate Glenlivet 2007, cask 900149, ‘Lucifer’s Livet’, Distilled 27.3.2007, Bottled 26.1.2018, Yielded 319 Bottles (66.6% ABV, NCF, NC)

Appearance: Dark mahogany, quick forming thin legs.

Nose: Too strong to really discern above the alcohol, and I’ll get to the water from the start. Sherry sweetness, with sweet dried fruit, gentle cinnamon and a hint of mint. Hints of licorice and clove. With time in the glass, it falls ito a well rounded sherry bomb with a touch of an almost chalky dryness, not typical to a 10 year old.

Palate: wood spices, oak and some prunes mixed with apricot leather, dried orange peel and cooked fruit and clove. There’s also some cooked yellow pears.

Linger: Dried fruit leads the palate, with a warm glow of spices.


Totally satanic at 66.6, it loves water and starts playing well with quite a bit of water, when it becomes a classicly beautiful sherry cask.

Yet another dram shared with my Wonderful Finnish Friends Association  🙂 

May 062018

Yesterday’s big news was carried by sctochwhisky.com, that reported from The Spirit of Speyside festival that Glenlivet is launching The Captain’s Reserve, which is a NAS expression, aged in both bourbon and sherry casks, and finished in Cognac casks, and supposed to be tiered above the 15 year old in the range.

At first, it will be available in the UK, then at travel retail and then rolled out into markets.


Photo Credit: scotchwhisky.com

This is interesting, because it reminds me of previous wood focused expression, the 13 year old sherry oak matured, for the Taiwan market. There was, of course, The Glenlivet 15 French Oak, a special edition 12 year old First Fill, for the European Market, and now the Cognac finished.  The 13 is not bad for what it is, and the price, in Taiwan is definitely decent. It went a little crazy at auction, but that’s to be expected (at least in today’s market). I found the palate somewhat disappointing, but my malthead expectations might be too high for the intended audience.

The one thing I don’t get, is the ABV. 40%, seriously?  I get that you don’t want to touch the core range. I also get that you offer the Nàdurra expressly for this reason. But this is 2018, deep into the third whisky golden age. Up your game, Glenlivet!

Photo Credit: whiskyauctioneer.com

The Glenlivet 13 Sherry Oak Matured (Taiwan Exclusive) (40%)

Appearance: Dark mahogany, legs are thick and slow.

Nose: Cinnamon and dried fruit, dried figs, cooked prunes, sweet mineral note, coffee and dark chocolate.

Palate: More watery than I’d like, peppery and dry, with some hints of red fruit. It’s slightly bitter. Darn, this is lacking some body.

Linger: Short and dry, woody and peppery with dark chocolate and some black drip coffee.


For 40% it’s decent, and will be solid for an evening with friends, with a nose that delivers what you’d expect, but with a rather disappointing palate. This one really had potential, though!

Jan 252015

The Glenlivet story needs no repetition. What is interesting is that The Glenlivet has been steadily growing in it’s piece of the single malt worldwide market share over the past eight years. In a market that’s expanding globally, The Glenlivet has not only increased the number of bottles sold, which is the easy part, but has also gone from an 8.8% share of the global single malt market in 2006, to a 12% share in 2013. That’s a 36% growth. In the corresponding period, incidentally, Glenfiddich declined from 15.3% to 12.7% of the market, a 17% decline in market share.

In just seven years, Glenlivet was able to close an almost 2:1 gap between the brands to about 5%. This push actually started in 2004, when The Glenlivet brand was revamped, and just a decade later it seems like that push for the number one spot was a brilliant move. Along the way, the distillery expanded to it’s current production capacity of 10.5 million liters per year, and the distillery has recently applied to the Moray Council for a license for a further expansion (necessary as the distillery is inside a nature reserve).

Photo Credit: imgkid.com

Photo Credit: imgkid.com

Obviously, the marketing people are doing their jobs quite well at Pernod Ricard, together with a well timed expansion allowing the distillery better planning of existing and newer stock. Also, the wider availability of higher end expressions as well as the expansion of the Nadurra line of higher ABV all play a part in this growth.

Will 2015 be the year in which The Glenlivet takes over the number one spot?

Photo Credit: grandcentralcellars.com.au

Photo Credit: grandcentralcellars.com.au

The Glenlivet 12 (40% ABV)

Appearance: Dark gold, thick and quick legs with some residue on the glass.

Nose: Green apples, honey, fresh baked bread, dusty spice, confectionery notes, a sweeter green fruit – maybe pear, heather. Time brings out more spiced honey.

Palate: Watery mouthfeel with pepper and allspice, honey and sweet fruity notes.

Linger: Spice in the back of the throat, pepper and sweet notes on the tongue in a medium finish.


As with the rest of this series, my criteria is for an entry level whisky, not for candidate entries for the Malt Maniacs’ Awards. As such, it’s smooth and interesting enough to serve as a gateway to greater exploration of the world of whisky. It’s weakness is the palate, which is a little watery, and it’s strength is the linger, which is pleasant.

Would I use this to introduce people to single malts? I would, and as such, it passes the threshold for this series.

Aug 052014

The Glenlivet is a distillery that needs no introduction. This particular expression is interesting because it’s just past half the Nadurra’s maturity, and thus can give us a nice comparison point of reference.

Photo Credit: blog.thewhiskyexchange.com

Photo Credit: blog.thewhiskyexchange.com

I want to thank Yoav of the Whisky Gospel blog for sharing this dram with me.

With no further ado, my tasting notes:

The Glenlivet 9 Years Old, Single Malt Scotch Whiksy Society Single Cask 2.85 (61.4% ABV, NCF, NC)

Color: Light gold, slow and thin legs with a lot of droplets clinging.

Nose: Glenlivet apples, honey, vanilla, fresh hay, pineapple, hints of coconut shavings, nose developing in the direction of the 12 year old it will become. Water brings out more pineapple and notes of passion-fruit sorbet.

Palate: After the sting of the alcohol the palate explodes with green apples and spices (allspice and black pepper), water enhances the spices and brings out the oak.

Linger: Medium and disappearing with only a small tingle of spice on the tongue. Water lengthens the linger with more spice.


This is a young but harmonious whisky, with good balance and coherence between the nose and the palate.