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In what could be our favorite Single Malt limited release from The Glenlivet without the risk of jail-time.
George Smith was running an illegal still on the estate of the Duke of Gordon in the wee early 1800’s — to whom he covertly supplied the occasional dram. The Duke sponsored legislation in 1823 that made whiskey distilling legal in the UK, it just so happens that George Smith was the first one granted a license. Total coincidence.
Today The Glenlivet is one of the “Big Three” Single Malt producers. Their Whiskies are Speyside in both location and character and the water for the mash comes famously from “Josie’s Well” nearby. The Glenlivet produces a wide variety of Single Malt agings and cask combinations, with the remaining spirit serving as an indispensable component in some of the most famous blends.
When Glenlivet decided to try to recapture the flavor and feel of George Smith’s original Single Malt — you know, the one that may or may not have been distilled in secret — they could have decided to name the limited edition “bootlegger,” scofflaw,” “tax dodger,” or “fugitive.” But they ultimately chose a different direction.
The Glenlivet 12 Year Old Illicit Still is fundamentally the classic Single malt we all love. But it’s been aged a full twelve years and bottled at a stunning 48% ABV without chill-filtration so it tastes even more Glenlivet-y, more Speyside-ery and definitely more legal-ish.
Appearance / Color
Nose / Aroma / Smell
The nose is alive with notes of shaved almonds, apple chips, candied pear, butter croissants, and a dash of honey.
Flavor / Taste / Palate
On the palate the aromas build into rich flavors with more bright apple notes over marmalade on brioche toast, a hint of ginger, a dust of cinnamon, warm scones, and oak.
The finish is long and rich and warm and lovely.