The Glenlivet XXV: Aged elegance

It came in its own wooden casket, the center splitting to reveal that gorgeous number that is just about the height of Scotch glory - 25. That's years in cask, if you didn't know.


Like the ubiquitous Glenlivet 12, this older Highlands whiskey is more elegant, maybe even restrained, than most seriously old Scotch. A big burst of toasty smoke floats across the palate up front - from wood only, since Glenlivet stopped using peat a long time ago. But after that wood comes hints of citrus rind and a veritable bouquet of floral notes that flow so easily across your tongue it's surprising, maybe even disappointing.


Any bottle that's older than many CL readers and that costs more than many people make in a week (the 25 usually runs between $400-500), should have power. It shouldn't just taste exquisite, it should knock me out, right?


Instead, hours after downing a few meager ounces of The Glenlivet XXV in the conference room and lamenting the lack of spirituous oomph, I'm still tasting it. There's that smoke. A little vanilla. Orange oil. Wildflowers and cedar.


Makes it hard to decry the lack of punch when the flavors linger for most of a day. There's power in The Glenlivet XXV's persistent, nigh-eternal elegance.

The Glenlivet XXV

Single-Malt Scotch Whiskey (Speyside, Highlands)

In the old days, I frequented a bar in Sarasota called The Gator Club. D ownstairs it was a meat-market for the lower-end middle-aged set, complete with cover bands and cheap cocktails. Upstairs, however, was a different scene.

There was a pool table, aged leather couches, hidden nooks and Randy Adams. During his reign over the bar up there, The Gator Club had the best selection of single-malt Scotch in the state. Now, Randy gets to pimp his favorite beverage full-time as Glenlivet's Brand Ambassador to the Southeast U.S..

Thankfully, I still get the occasional slug of free whiskey thanks to Randy, but rarely is it as nice as the bottle he brought by the office last week.

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