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Scotch Whisky Legends: The Glenlivet 1955 27 Year Old Duthie For Samaroli

The Glenlivet 1955 27 Year Old Duthie For Samaroli. Credit: Whisky Auctioneer

The Glenlivet has consistently been one of the best-selling single malt scotch whisky brands in the world, rivaling the likes of Glenfiddich for the top spot. Its accessibility and easy-drinking nature make it a go-to for many whisky lovers and consumers. 

However, despite the accessibility of The Glenlivet’s modern core range, the distillery has also seen a number of old and rare bottlings hit the secondary market. One such bottling is The Glenlivet 1955 27 Year Old Duthie For Samaroli. 

Whether for drinking or investing, this bottle is extremely difficult to find on the secondary market. As such, fans of The Glenlivet will feel immense envy that respected whisky reviewer, Serge Valentin, was able to sample this elusive whisky in 2007. 

The bottle is also notable for the involvement of scotch-bottling legends Samaroli and Duthie. 

Let’s talk about it. 

The Glenlivet 1955 27 Year Old Duthie For Samaroli 

The Glenlivet 1955 27 Year Old Duthie For Samaroli looks very unassuming upon first glance. The handwritten label is understated, and there is no eye-catching logo to draw your gaze to any of the companies involved in the whisky’s creation. It is only when you look closer that the bottle seems to gain some defining characteristics.

Underneath The Glenlivet’s name and the 27-year age statement, the label reads: 

“This malt whisky overaged in Spanish oak casks had previously contained Sherry wine, is a big experience in the whisky drinking world. It was distilled by Geo. & J.G. Smith Ltd in 1955 and bottled by R.W. Duthie & Co. Aberdeen in 1982.” 

Also on the label is a bottle number (the exact number is not known), the volume (75cl), the ABV (43%), and the date of bottling (30th April 1982). 

The whisky was bottled by the Aberdeen-based R.W. Duthie & Co. Duthie is particularly well-known for bottling extremely rare expressions under license from distilleries and other independent bottlers (check out these stunning R.W. Duthie for Corti Highland Parks). This Glenlivet 1955 27 Year Old expression was bottled for import by the iconic Italian independent bottler, Samaroli. Silvano Samaroli, an extremely well-loved and pioneering figure in the whisky industry lovingly hand-signed each bottle, giving the whisky his own seal of approval. 

Serge Valentin’s Tasting Notes on The Glenlivet 1955 27 Year Old Duthie For Samaroli 

The rarity of the chances to try such old gems from The Glenlivet was not lost on Serge Valentin when he sampled this dram in 2007:

“No need to tell you how great it is to be able to try an oldie with such a pedigree – yeah, what a useless comment. 

Colour: dark amber. Nose: an astounding sherry as expected, all on all kinds of roasted nuts (lots of pecans), high-end fruitcake, truckloads of dried figs and that fabulous smokiness that one can find in some old Glenlivets. There is some OBE, a beautiful one (metal, soot, shoe polish). Goes on with balsamico, very old pu-erh, then parsley, chives and dill, then pine resin, wax polish… Endless development. Just fab. Ah, also fantastic notes of old walnut liqueur…

Mouth: amazingly thick, creamy, concentrated, starting on old walnuts just like before, roasted coffee beans and bananas flambéed. It’s more winey than on the nose, maybe just a tad drying (quite some tannins) but it’s still spectacular sherry matured whisky. Notes of pepper (reminds me of the famous sherried Talisker 1955 CS by G&M) and lots, really lots of cinnamon. Hints of mint. 

Finish: rather long, dry, balanced, absolutely fresh… Pure joy. And so drinkable! Another old masterpiece selected by Mr. Samaroli. And only 43%, really? 94 points (the nose alone was worth 96 in my books).” – Serge Valentin, WhiskyFun.com, August 2007 

Auction Prices (or a lack thereof) 

As is the case with almost all of my Scotch Whisky Legends bottlings, this whisky is extremely scarce. 

The last auction result I can find is from June 2024 at Whisky Auctioneer, when the bottle sold for £7,111. 

In December 2023 and February 2024 respectively, there were two listings for this bottle on eBay Spain. These listings are no longer available, but my records indicate the bottles sold for £1,997 and £1,295 respectively. Take these with a pinch of salt: the UK and Europe have varying laws on the sale of alcohol via public platforms, and I cannot see the pages to verify the sales. It is safe to say, though, that if somebody did buy The Glenlivet 1955 27 Year Old Duthie For Samaroli for £1,295…they got an absolute bargain. 

The record auction price for the whisky was achieved at Whisky Auctioneer in December 2020 when the bottle sold for £15,500

A Brief History of The Glenlivet 

The Glenlivet Distillery.

The Glenlivet Distillery, founded in 1824 by George Smith in the secluded Livet Valley of Speyside, Scotland, is renowned as one of the foremost names in single malt Scotch whisky. Smith’s pioneering spirit led him to obtain one of the first licenses under the Excise Act of 1823, which aimed to legitimize whisky production. Facing threats from illicit distillers, Smith carried pistols for protection, symbolizing the bold step towards legal whisky making.

The Glenlivet quickly gained a reputation for its quality, earning endorsements from King George IV and becoming a favorite among the aristocracy. By the mid-19th century, it was so highly regarded that other distilleries began using the Glenlivet name to enhance their own reputations. A legal battle in 1884 secured the brand’s exclusive right to use “The” in its name, distinguishing it as “The Glenlivet.”

Throughout the 20th century, The Glenlivet expanded its operations and distribution, cementing its status as a global whisky icon. Its distinctive smooth, floral, and fruity character, achieved through traditional methods and pure spring water from Josie’s Well, continues to define the brand. 

In 2024, The Glenlivet is celebrating its bicentenary, marking 200 years since its founding with numerous special events and limited edition bottlings

Beth Squires

Beth joined Mark Littler Ltd full-time in October 2020 following the completion of her university degree. Since then she has gained wide-ranging knowledge of all things whisk(e)y, and has written extensively for both company and external publications. Beth is passionate about industry innovation, marketing, and sustainability. With a particular affinity for independently bottled rare scotch, Beth is also a whisky bottle investment specialist.

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