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Samaroli Coilltean Glenlivet Distillery, 19 year old Single Malt Whisky, Speyside 1999 (with box)


Let me echo last year’s thoughts... Glenlivet is as synonymous with whisky as James Dean with the Sixties, Grease with the Seventies… or Duran Duran with the Eighties. When something is identified so strongly as part of a movement, an era, a country or a way of thinking… it means it has something very special. This undoubtedly applies to the Glenlivet distillery. Such an important, historical malt, so overwhelming that it characterised and paved the way for the production, taste and style of all of Speyside.

This youngster, who has recently reached adulthood, is still in its prime, with tones that haven’t reached full maturity yet, but are slightly more developed. It holds us in a tight embrace, like a son hugging his mother, with whom, in typical teenage style, he’d argued just moments before. Yes, we even get maternal scents on the nose: talcum powder, pressed powder and eau de toilette. Fruity tones of banana, apple and apricot. After a graceful, delicate opening, it gives way to more pungent notes of spices and crispier, slightly burnt scents.

It’s very exciting on the palate… concentrated countryside sensations, that taste of fresh hay and new blooms. This isn’t the English countryside, but perhaps Provence where continental notes and scents begin to mingle with Mediterranean fragrances wafting up from the Languedoc. It opens with very ripe fruit which confirms the first scents detected by the nose, then impressions of myrtle, basil and marjoram. Then right in the middle of tasting, we’re teased by tones of orange and cake. Yes, perhaps it’s actually the famous pastiera cake from the gulf of Naples. A truly great drink.

ABV: 45%
Vol: 700ml