a few teams were sent out around the world by The Glenlivet Distillery with three potions made by Whisky wizard Alan Winchester. Wizard Alan wanted to know the taste of the world, or should I say, the tastes of the four corners world. Thus three potions were concocted and named as follows:
- Classic: The quality of timelessness and enduring excellence,
- Exotic: The quality of rich diversity and enigmatic depth,
- Revival: A regard and passion for past styles, reinterpreted with a contemporary twist.
With lots of patience the teams set out and traveled many, many miles to visit groups of Whisky geeks all ’round the world. I use the term “geek” lightly, because I’m a Whisky geek myself and probably a geek in many other respects too, but I digress…
37 countries were visited, and many different countries showed many different results. Some liked the Classic potion best and some liked the exotic potion better, but the next country liked the revival potion the best. Valuable information in its own right, since different places have different tastes. As luck would have it Mr. Al-Kindi, an Iraqi mathematician from the ninth century A.D., planted a seed that would eventually become statistics, and with this statistical knowledge one of the potions was voted the best by all members of all countries that had the opportunity to try all of the potions. The expression called “Exotic” was chosen by 39% of the tasters. Which brings us to today. The exotic-expression mentioned above is now bottled as The Guardians Chapter, and here are my findings…
Color: Orange Gold
Nose: Lots of Sherry upfront with creamy butter. Very full and bold. Whiffs of citric acidity. This Whisky really wants to leap out of the glass, to be snorted up first, to asses its merits and make you want to take a sip, but lets not indulge ourselves just yet. Very heavy on the Sherry actually, thick and cloying and very sweet. A bit heavy and aromatic. It was first called “Exotic”, but the Alpha I reviewed earlier, was more exotic that this. Lots of sugared fruits come next. Apricots, lime, hints of banana, and finally also some oak comes to the front. All in all a very bold expression, no subtleties here. After the oak a breath of fresh air emerges from my glass. Well crafted and modern Whisky. It smells a bit ‘designed’. Bold aromas of fruit and sweetness. Perfect for a young public that wants to be introduced to Whisky. Extremely drinkable and I guess a bottle like this will be finished quite quickly. More citrus now, toned down orange skin. The wood gives off whiffs like it has some virgin oak in the mix.
Taste: Sweet yes, caramel and toffee first (American wood). Very syrupy, with some elegant wood and wax polish. A little bit of (Sherry) cask toast (with tannins) and tar (European wood). A vegetable and dry grassy note. Warming and a nice finish. Good balance. It’s all here, a new oak twist with thick cloying Sherry notes and nice clean Ex-Bourbon cask in the mix.
Just like the Alpha, a nicely crafted Whisky. Very likeable and drinkable. A modern and very bold NAS Whisky that wants you to know it’s here. I guess this is somehow aimed at a young public, but I can imagine this sitting in my collection of open bottles, this will be empty soon. Compared to Alpha, this is definitely bolder, heavier and more up front. This is a loud whisky where Alpha was more fresh and elegant. For me the Alpha was even more of an exotic whisky. Nice to see how different these two limited releases of The Glenlivet are, and they are finally moving into the 21th century.
Thanks go out to JJ “The Marathon man”, for again, this rather large sample.