Review: Glenburgie-Glenlivet 21 year old Cadenhead’s Club 2014
Whisky Rover regulars will know I’m a member of the Cadenhead’s Club, which for an annual fee opens up the possibility of receiving an exclusive bottle selected by the Cadenhead team during October. The membership fee grants you access but it is only suitable if you plan to purchase 6 or more bottles over the course of the year. For every bottle you purchase from a particular range, your card is stamped and after 6 stamps the booklet is complete.
Shockingly this year I managed 3 complete booklets and my reward is this trio of Glenburgie’s. Upon reflection the quality and range of releases from Cadenhead’s throughout 2014, this shouldn’t be a surprise and hopefully you’ve found some of my ramblings about their whiskies helpful over the last year. Scarily I’ve almost completed my 1st book towards the 2015 release and there is the prospect of some Christmas presents to contend with as well.
Last year the Club release was a very welcome 19 year old Glen Keith with an outturn of just 32 bottles. The Club does seem to be growing as we’ve almost tripled the edition number this year coming in at 92 bottles. Although if any other members are like me, then they’ll have ensured they have one to keep and one to enjoy. As for the other bottle we’ll see. I always said that I would open up whatever it was this year to enjoy with the Cadenhead team in Edinburgh and I was true to my word; not everyone was in attendance so I will return with a further sample.
Glenburgie-Glenlivet isn’t a distillery that attracts much attention unless you mistake it for Glenugie, which would be a different matter altogether. A longstanding Speyside stalwart, the distillery was heavily renovated in 2004. Today, Glenburgie-Glenlivet is mostly destined for the Ballantine’s blend and is rarely seen in the single malt form we have here. So now the time has come to see if the distillery warrants a single malt of its own and celebrate another year in the club!
Additional: matured in a sherry cask (type not specified)
Colour: fake tan
Nose: initially the sense of damp wood and rubber bands that the local postman always seems to deposit outside my door. Plenty of spices with cinnamon and cloves with a flashback of freshly baked gingerbread men. Left for a wee while longer with a splash of water more pepper and the distinctive sweetness of honeycomb are very evident.
Taste: well its certainly not as full-on as some sherry casks I've experienced around this age. The Glenburgie spirit delivers some unusual notes with maple cured bacon, a molasses richness and freshly ground coffee. Then we're back onto traditional sherry notes with modest restraint. A very pleasant and relaxing dram that doesn't require a full grip on the armchair as you prepare to leap into it.