$25,000 Defines Whisky Luxury Via This 50-Year-Old The Glenlivet Bottling

By Nino Kilgore-Marchetti / September 29, 2014

Every now and again along comes a $25,000 Scotch that is a very rare beast. Not something mere mortals like us can afford, but still pretty to look at and learn about just the same. What’s on the luxury whisky lifeline this time is the first 100 bottle release from the new The Glenlivet Winchester Collection, known as The Winchester Collection Vintage 1964.

This 50-year-old whisky, according to The Glenlivet distillery, had no expense or attention to craftsmanship spared in creating it. First, the spirit itself

was created from an American Hogshead oak cask laid down to mature by Captain Bill Smith-Grant, the last distilling descendant of The Glenlivet’s founder, George Smith, on the 24th of April 1964. It was soon after singled out as a cask of exceptional promise and has been tended to under the watchful eye of no fewer than seven Master Distillers and is the result of their unrivalled knowledge, unwavering care and unfaltering craft.

It was “awakened,” if you will, in 2014 by the man “whose name this precious collection bares.” As current The Glenlivet distiller Alan Winchester said in a statement “this release marks a milestone for The Glenlivet. Casks of this age and quality are such a rare thing these days that I’m immensely proud to introduce the first of these rare Vintages of preserved stocks from the distillery’s rich past.”

glenlivet-1964

Now, a 42.3% ABV, cask strength whisky of this age and pedigree certainly needs high quality packaging to contain it. To this end

  • each decanter is hand-blown by renowned glassblower Brody Nairn of Glasstorm Studio near Inverness, using a special glass that refracts light differently than normal glass, giving this bottle a sparkly brilliance akin to a diamond.
  • the cabinet housing the decanter was hand-crafted by master cabinetmaker John Galvin in Glasgow, and when you open the doors with the golden key, the bottle presents itself to you as it slides forward.
  • the stopper was created by Richard Fox of Fox Silver in London, and “the first thing you notice, even before you catch the scent, is the pleasing heaviness of the silver and the shine of the Cairngorm stone, which always remains cool to the touch.”
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Tasting notes for this “no expense spared” whisky are below per the distillery. It will be available starting in October in a few markets, including the United States and the U.K. Additional bottlings for the greater collection will follow later, including a 1966 vintage.

Nose: The perfect marriage of spirit and cask releases a wonderfully rich aroma of fruity pear and peach nectar, which envelops the nose. Complemented by juicy, sweet raisins, dark chocolate and a fondant orange crème, intermingled with a tantalising honeycomb crunch sweetness that gives incredible depth.

Taste: Bursting with luscious fruit flavours of ripe pears and oranges, black cherries and smooth creamy toffee, resulting in a fantastically velvety texture.  In the background, caramelised sugar and candy flavours elevate the richness of the taste.

Finish: Exceptionally smooth and luxurious