Gordon & MacPhail Generations Glenlivet Tasting Notes

As promised here are my tasting notes from the first of two sold out Gordon & MacPhail Generations Glenlivet tastings. We cracked the G&M Generations Glenlivet 1940 70 Year and G&M Private Collection 5 Decades bottlings. I hope you enjoy them!



G&M Private Collection Glenlivet 1991 – 19 Year – 50.6% – Refill Sherry Hogshead – 259 Bottles Worldwide – 6 in Canada – KWM Exclusive – My Tasting Note: Nose: right away I am hit with a surge of white orchard fruits, apple and pear with white grape juice, liquid honey and graham wafers; soft toasted oak develops with warm white chocolate over berry fruits; very fresh, soft and fruity; Palate: very toasty and crisp with caramelized honey and lots of apples; Granny Smith apples, barely ripe pear and firm toasted oak; big vanilla and white chocolate with some ripe golden barley; orange and lime notes show late, especially dried orange peel; Finish: drying and toasty with some sweet barley and vanilla notes; Comments: a very fresh whisky with shades of both youth and maturity. - $202.99 *SOLD OUT – Only available as a part of the 5 Decade Set ($4999.99)

G&M Private Collection Glenlivet 1980 – 30 Year – 48.5% – Refill American Oak Hogshead – 117 Bottles Worldwide – Only 3 came to Canada. – KWM Exclusive – My Tasting Note: a little shy with some dark fruits and caramelized sugar; gently spiced oak, marzipan, chocolates, red berry fruits and sweet malt; as it warms it becomes much fruitier with cherries, fruit compote and Highland toffee; Palate: much sweeter, richer and darker in taste than the 1991; a flash of tropical fruits appear before the spices shove it aside; candied orange, buttery sherry oak, anise and floral spices; developing further, stewed  and candied fruits come to the fore along with sticky toffee pudding; Finish: long, light and spicy with burnt sugar; surprisingly the barley makes an appearance with dried oranges and other fruits; Comment: this one was a lot richer and darker than the 1991, even more so than I’d expected; a shame the cruel angels left the world but 117 bottles! - $496.99 *SOLD OUT – Only available as a part of the 5 Decade Set ($4999.99)

G&M Private Collection Glenlivet 1974 - 36 Years – 50.1% – First Fill Sherry Hogshead – 245 Bottles Worldwide – 6 in Canada – KWM Exclusive  - My Tasting Note: Nose: very nutty and dry with caramelized fruits poking their heads out from behind soft toasted oak; after some breathing the fruits come out: fruit salad and in particular mixed oranges; sugary chocolate, beer nuts, dried brown sugar and a touch of smoke; Palate: candied orange, black liquorice nibs and medium dark chocolate with burnt and dried fruits; the oak is strong but not overwhelming, ground ginger, clove and nutmeg; braised strawberries, dried apricots and a raspberry balsamic reduction; damp tobacco and espresso beans; Finish: drying and earthy with brittle old tobacco and cold espresso; towards the finale the almonds take over; Comments: of the 3 youngest whiskies this is by far the most sherried and rich; the oak presence is strong, but it in no way overpowers the dram. - $923.99

G&M Private Collection Glenlivet 1963- 47 Years – 40.6% – First Fill American Oak Hogshead – 223 Bottles Worldwide – 6 in Canada – KWM Exclusive  - My Tasting Note: Nose: enormously nutty, maple glazed walnuts, cinnamon coated almonds and beer nuts; candied orange and ginger, white chocolate wafers, firm toasted oak and fruit leather; floral hints and drizzled honey with dried apple and pear; there are also hints of potpourri and lavender; Palate: wow… creamy, soft and bags of honey with some Mandarin orange and candied dried ginger; peaches and cream with dehydrated apricots and vanilla cream; some earthy toasted oak shows late; hints of milk chocolate but more white chocolate and different styles of honey; fresh and somewhat floral; Finish: sweet with honey and vanilla; drying oak, candied orange and mixed dried fruits; it lingers a long while; Comments: one of the threads running through all six of these whiskies is the light touch of the oak, and next to the 70 year old this one is the second most surprising in this regard. The oak has added layers and depth, but is far from taking the whisky’s life! - $1,325.99

G&M Private Collection Glenlivet 1954 - 56 Years – 50.6% – First Fill Sherry Hogshead – 101 Bottles Worldwide – 6 in Canada – KWM Exclusive  - My Tasting Note: Nose: dark and savoury with earthy oak and spices; dark chocolate, Christmas cake, burnt raisins and leather with soft newly varnished wood; the fruit steadily emerges to dominate the nose, mostly in its darkest incarnations; but there are also shades of papaya and other tropical fruits; Palate: big fruits just as on the nose with the tropical variety, candied and dried fruits all held in check by the balancing spices; more mango and papaya, dark chocolate, black liquorice and thick spices: black pepper, clove, burnt ginger and cinnamon; more leathery as you get further into it, rare fillet mignon(that savoury character of the nose) and molten brown sugar; Finish: cocoa nibs, more fruits (mostly dried) with damp cigar tobacco and oak spices; new leather and tropical fruits emerge at the very end; Comments: next to the 70 year old this is my favourite whisky in the line-up; the tropical fruits are just so lush and expressive… - $2,193.99

G&M Generations Glenlivet 1940 70 Year – 45.9% – First Fill Sherry Butt – cask 339 – 100 700ml Decanters and 175 200ml Decanters – Only 2 in Canada – KWM Exclusive – My Tasting Note: Nose: shoe polish, waxy fruits, uncooked pie crust and soft smooth oak; dried ginger candy, creamy heather honey and a panoply of citrus notes: lemon, lime and orange notes; buttery sherry oak, smooth Highland fudge and gentle smoke with lemon drops; Palate: buttery sherry notes, soft gentle spices, liquorice root and clean elegant smoke; the whisky becomes increasingly orangey with candied ginger and Panda brand black liquorice; the fruits are mostly dried with just hints of the tropical kind; Scottish Tablet notes and fudgy Highland toffee also make an appearance; the palate has a wonderful mouth feel, soft, fatty and a little oily with a salty-savoury character; the layers to this whisky are impressive with wood smoke, homemade cream soda and mandarin oranges; Finish: very long and coating, exceptionally smooth and gently drying; the fruits linger long into the finish with tones of rich sherry and surprisingly subtle oak; Comments: there are two things about this whisky which really set it apart, firstly, the whisky has managed to stay youthful even though its matured 70 long years in an a single oak cask; I’ve tried a lot of very poor, older, heavily oaked whiskies, and this does not fall into that category; the second thing is the smoke, it was the war years after all, and no doubt coal was rationed and other fuel sources had to be found; this makes the 1940 70 year a truly unique expression of Glenlivet; $22,000.00 is a lot of money for a whisky, but compared to some of the $100,000 and $200,000 whiskies some other companies are releasing this whisky has both pedigree and substance; now if only I could pick the right lotto numbers. - $21,999.99/700ml and $5,999.99/200ml


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