Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Guardians’ Chapter From The Glenlivet



If you’ve been following this blog over the past few years, you may recall that as a member of The Glenlivet Guardians, I’ve been invited to a number of unique scotch tastings held by The Glenlivet. Recently, they conducted another such tasting – attendees being limited to Glenlivet Guardians who had participated in previous events. What made this one stand out is the fact that we, as members of the local Guardians Chapter, would participate in the selection of the next expression to be released by The Glenlivet. All around the world, Glenlivet Guardian Chapters have been summoned to tastings where they would try three very different types of scotches recently made by the company and vote for which one they think should be the pick to become the product to be released by The Glenlivet in the autumn of 2014.  Since it was picked by members of The Guardians, it would be known as The Guardians’ Chapter. 

The samples were presented to us under three different categories: Classic, Revival and Exotic. Unfortunately, we weren’t given a substantial amount of background about any of these; that is partly because they didn’t want too much information to influence our voting in any way. That said, just by looking at each dram, you could likely infer that they were aged differently: the Classic was the lightest color and the Exotic the darkest. Since the degree of a whisky’s coloration typically depends on the amount of time it spends in the cask, a reasonable deduction was that the Exotic version was probably aged the longest. But only the whisky-maker knows for sure. And they’re not telling. Yet.


Each one of these offerings was distinct: Classic sweet while Revival relies more on fruity notes and Exotic was spicy. Craig Bridger, Brand Ambassador for The Glenlivet, guided us through the tasting, but for the most part, we were on our own – again, the purpose here was to get an unbiased opinion from members of the chapter. He suggested that we try each one with a drop or two of water after tasting them on their own; unfortunately, this was not always possible for various reasons, so I mostly tried each whisky by itself. As I wandered from table to table to obtain each dram, I nosed each glass carefully prior to sipping; I tried to imagine scenarios under which each one would be best utilized. Would one be best as an aperitif? Or would it be best featured post-meal? Is this a whisky I’d rather use as the base spirit of a cocktail or is it better to drink it on its own?

In coloration, nose and taste, the Classic was very light; it was a stark contrast against the Exotic, which was dark in color and smoky on the nose. The Exotic, yielding a taste somewhat reminiscent of rye, also contained a hint of chocolate. One of the reasons for the complexity of the Exotic, I was to learn, was due to the fact that it was aged in a sherry cask. Ultimately, my vote went to the Exotic. Part of my reasoning for this had to do with the marketing: since we were told that the new expression would be released in the fall of 2014, this one seemed to be most appropriate for that season. While both the Classic and Revival were quite good, they seemed to me to be best suited for a springtime release; I could envision myself enjoying those during the warmer months, then switching to the Exotic as the temperatures dropped.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Speak Your Piece, Beeyotch!