In my continuing whisky closet clean-out efforts, here are my notes on a bottle of Glenlivet 34 yr produced by AD Rattray. Released as part of their Cask Collection, this particular bottling was distilled 29.06.1977 and bottled 19.03.2012. It was matured in Bourbon Cask No. 13173, with a total out-turn of 171 bottles. As you can see by the photo, these notes were made near the end of this bottle, and I will say that time and the associated oxidation improved an already good whisky. This is also the oldest Glenlivet I’ve tried and I will tell you, it delivered an excellent tasting experience!
Normally, I would add a little information about the distillery and/or the independent bottler, but in my quest to get some reviews posted before our big move abroad, I’m holding myself to my objective to be more restrained! 🙂 So here is the review!
Review: Glenlivet 34 yr, AD Rattray Cask Collection, Distilled 29.06.1977, Bottled 198.03.2012. Bourbon Cask, Cask No. 13173, Number of Bottles 171
Color: chardonnay gold
Nose (N): Starts with a strong overture of warm vanilla and honey, deep and rich. I get some canned peaches, a hint of Kirschwasser, and a dusting of white pepper. Becomes floral – rose petals, then shifts to focus more on dried flowers than fresh. There are notes of red apples that seem to grow with time. Very nicely integrated nose! (W): The red apples become huuuge! (sorry, couldn’t resist!), toffee, warm bread with melted butter, vanilla, soft hints of canned peaches, softer floral notes that move more to the background. Warm cream, a touch of the pepper spice.
Taste (N): Supple and richly viscous in the arrival and even gets richer as I roll it around my tongue. Just a bit of alcohol bite that settles quickly. Red apple peel and lemon zest, a floral honey, semi-ripe peaches – not overly sweet, now. The apple skins bring out a soft bitterness that adds a nice element to the honey and fruit sweetness. (W): Sweeter on the arrival, but also more of apple peel’s softly bitter bite.
Finish: Vanilla and fruits, hints of the lemon, a soft note of barrel char! and that soft bitter sharpness. Coming full circle, the sweet notes comes back around as the honey picks up at the end. Very enjoyably long, staying with you for several minutes!
Overall: This Glenlivet 34 yr was a very good whisky! For me, the nose was slightly more impressive, but there really are no obvious flaws here. The whisky is floral, fruity, and sweet, without being overdone. The whisky is well-integrated and possesses a beautiful balance. And the finish is wonderfully long. Sadly, as there were only the 171 bottles, and that it came out in 2013, it is likely that you won’t see this one around any longer. Makes me wish I’d bought two bottles!
Distillery: The Glenlivet
Bottler: AD Rattray (Ayrshire, Scotland)
Type: Single Malt
Age: 34 years (Distilled 29.06.1977, Bottled 198.03.2012)
Maturation: Bourbon Cask
Out-turn: 171 bottles
Price: $209.99 USD (2013)
Sample Source: My own bottle