"A vibrant and complex dram, which obviously has comes from a great cask. Easily one of the best, if not thé best, young whisky with heavy sherry influence that I have tasted so far"
(Photo from Whiskybase)
Lately we have seen several sherry-powered young Glenlivet releases from Signatory Vintage with frighteningly high alcohol percentages, which have received some raving reviews from fellow whisky bloggers. I cannot stay behind then, can I? This particular releases was selected from the Signatory Vintage warehouses by Jan Visser, owner of the Single Malt Whisky Shop in Zammel, Belgium. He is very fond of Italian race cars, as you might have noticed on the label, hence he has named his own series of independently bottled releases after his passion. “Look at that colour!” is something that is often mentioned in combination sherry-matured whiskies, but I think that sentence is very much applicable here. Let’s pour a dram of this highly inflammable liquid and overcome the fear to stick our nose above the glass.
Surprisingly, I am not getting that much in the beginning!? A slow starter that takes its time to give to reveal its treasures. After giving it some time I am getting some rum-soaked raisins, molasses, along with varnished wood, and dark cherries like in the famous Schwarzwälder Kirsch cake. And I am detecting more and more different scents, in particular of the darkest of chocolates, along with many spices a light sweetness. A really nice nose so far, which is reasonably sweet, but lacks any sherry-associated bitterness. Could this liquid come from casks that previously held (not too sweet) PX sherry? With water there is an increasing sense of a voluptuous dinner with game and dried fruits, in particular cranberries. Then it moves on towards a next course with sweet dessert wine, intense tea, a plate full of sweet cakes, including chocolate cake and many different fruitcakes. Lovely notes of freshly picked raspberries and lemon-drizzled cake. I also detect a few dirty hints of oil and metals. Top notch nose!
The first sip is tongue numbing and throat burning, not surprising considering the almost insane alcohol percentage… Although I am getting some dark chocolate, dry sherry, dried apricots, maybe even tobacco and a surprising hint of smoke. Probably smart to already add some water. It gets better, although this might need some more water. I get more dried fruits, although it stays rather dry, and tobacco. The alcohol tends to dominate the palate for quite a long time, and it gets slightly bitter. Orange scones enter into my mind. However, there is also a maltiness that has struggled itself free from the cask influence providing the light sweet fruitiness and citric acidity that I have noticed in other Glenlivet expressions. It gets fresher and more citric after a longer breathing, which I find great. Long development and lingering finish that perfectly fits with citrus, apricots, sherry wood and strong tea.
A vibrant and complex dram, which obviously has comes from a great cask. Easily one of the best, if not thé best, young whisky with heavy sherry influence that I have tasted so far. Highly recommended for any whisky enthusiast with a liking for sherry. Probably also enthusiast that do not have that tendency, like myself. There are more of these Signatory Vintage expressions around, so go find them (but leave a few bottles for me, please).
Big thanks to for sharing this great sample!
• these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •