There’s a great, big world of single malts out there to choose from, so even some of the giants of the scotch whisky industry are feeling the pressure to innovate and change things up from time to time.
The Glenlivet, the Speyside distillery owned by Pernod Ricard that makes some of the most popular single malt whisky in the world, just announced a relaunch of two of the premium expressions in its core lineup, its 21 and 25-year-old single malt whiskies. These two bottles will now be part of The Glenlivet Sample Room Collection, and what separates them from the original versions are brand-new cask finishes.
For those who are unfamiliar, cask finishing is the extremely popular practice of putting whisky in a different type of barrel for a secondary maturation period to pick up new flavors. This has been done in Scotland for decades, and today many American whiskeys are jumping on this trend as well. “This has been an exciting opportunity to elevate two iconic whiskies—our 21 and 25 Year Old Originals—developing an end result full of layers of flavor and richness,” said The Glenlivet cask expert Kevin Balmforth in a statement. “The Sample Room Collection from The Glenlivet is breaking new ground in whisky, setting new standards in taste and quality through craftsmanship and refined cask finishes.”
The original Glenlivet 21 is aged in American oak ex-bourbon barrels and ex-sherry casks. This new version is now finished in three different types of casks: first-fill Oloroso sherry, French Troncais oak cognac and vintage Colheita port. Tasting notes include caramelized pear, sultana grape and a bit of ginger spice on the palate. The OG Glenlivet 25 is finished solely in Oloroso sherry butts, but the new whisky is given a very different spin with a finish in Pedro Ximinez sherry and Troncais oak cognac casks. The PX sherry finish gives the whisky a sweeter flavor profile than Oloroso, and tasting notes include blood orange, sweet fig and charred pineapple.
The Glenlivet Sample Room Collection launches in the UK in July, with the 21 priced at about $260 and the 25 at $630.