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Balvenie-Glenlivet “As We Get It” 1970s




Whisky Review: Balvenie-Glenlivet “As We Get It” 1970s

Tasting Notes:

This Balvenie-Glenlivet “As We Get It” was bottled in the 1970s, going by the 26 2/3 fluid ounces volume of the bottle. The bottler was Macfarlane, Bruce & Co, Inverness. Cask-strength whisky, or whisky “as we get it” was not very common the 1970s, as consumers were more inclined towards drinking blends. As such, this is a very early example of cask strength Balvenie. Bottled at 108.6 proof, it is certain to have a bit of bite to it.
White Wine
Wow, this has a kick on the nose! Almost like smelling salts. I don’t get a lot of whisky notes coming through, which isn’t totally surprising considering the pale color. A very small touch of vanilla and honey to be generous.
Okay, deep breath. That is challenging. I love high ABV whisky as sometimes you will notice that a high strength bolsters the flavors. Not in this case. In fact, I think that the ABV is hindering the flavor here.
Pure alcohol.
Not one to sip and enjoy from a personal point of view. The high ABV combined with the apparent lack of age means that there isn’t a lot of cask influence to wade through.
The Balvenie-Glenlivet “As We Get It” 108.6 proof. The full bottle versions that appear at auction are mostly 105.2 proof.

The Balvenie distillery was established in 1892 by William Grant in Dufftown, Scotland, nestled in the heart of Speyside. Built on the grounds of Balvenie New House, it was constructed by the Grant family, who aimed to expand their whisky production beyond the success of their first distillery, Glenfiddich. Distinctive for maintaining traditional whisky-making methods, Balvenie is one of the few distilleries in Scotland that still grows its own barley, uses floor maltings, and possesses onsite coppersmiths and coopers to tend to its stills and barrels.

Balvenie began experimenting with a unique cask finishing process that began in the 1980s, significantly impacting the flavor profiles of their whiskies. This approach has made Balvenie a revered name in single malt scotch whisky, known for its rich, smooth flavors and pioneering cask finishes. Today, the distillery continues to be a symbol of traditional Scottish craftsmanship in whisky production.

Given the status of the distillery, my score for this Balvenie-Glenlivet “As We Get It” might not seem fair. However, as I said above, I have no problem with high-ABV, cask-strength whisky. The important thing is that a high-ABV whiskey should be elevated by the strength, not hindered. As a whisky lover and reviewer, part of the fun of tasting is carefully deciphering the layers within a whisky. In this case, however, the pale color and high ABV suggest that this was a case of getting a whisky out of the door. Getting a cask-strength expression to market in a time when this was extremely rare.

Balvenie has, and does, produce some fantastic cask-strength expressions. Given a few more years I am sure this could have been a great whisky. Maybe it is just that Macfarlane, Bruce & Co. jumped the gun slightly.

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Vin PF

Vin PF is one of our UK based reviewers. You may know him as the face of the No Nonsense Whisky whisky channel.

His channel focuses on whisky reviews and livestreams, providing honest and straightforward content that cuts through the chaff. With Vin’s reviews you can expect short, easy-to-digest content that get straight to the point.

He prides himself on being approachable and relaxed, without any pretentiousness.

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