Earlier this week I participated in an Glenlivet event that brings Tal Brody’s (ex-basketball player here in Israel) immortal words “We’re on the map and we’ll stay on the map” to mind. And you probably ask why and the answer is: We (the Israeli market) has grown up. We buy and drink more single malt than ever and we were finally noticed enough in Scotland to garner an exclusive single cask from Glenlivet – the first ever distillery single malt official bottling that was bottled exclusively to our market – the Glenlivet Single Cask Edition “Carn Ealasaid” 15 Year Old.
Rani Cohen (Senior Executive of Glenlivet importer, Tempo) led a series of 3 tasting events in Tel-Aviv to launch this exclusive bottling and using the occasion to educate and promote single malt whisky in Israel. I was also delighted to hear that the current Nadurra bottlings (Oloroso, First Fill, etc) are finally coming to our shores – expect them in stores from May 2017.
But why review this single cask alone? Let’s review also the “Pristinus”, another 15 year old single cask that arrived to our market a year and a half ago and was also a big star in those events.
Glenlivet Single Cask Edition “Pristinus” 15 Year Old (59.7%)
Nose: Oh a barrage of green apples, feels almost like an applies cider with bubbles-like feeling due to the high ABV, vanilla and lemon, very fruity with tropical edge. With water it’s getting spicier and a pineapple note is added. It has a rich, crisp and bold – really an excellent nose.
Palate: Honey sweetness, spicy green cardamom, pepper, oak spices, vanilla and sweet green apples. With water it’s mellower with apples at front.
Finish: Medium length, Dry, sweet green apples, oak wood spices, pepper.
Glenlivet Single Cask Edition “Carn Ealasiaid” 15 Year Old (59.7%, 1500 NIS)
Nose: Red apples with bursting white pepper, all very intense that I had to leave it to rest a bit. But after a few minutes in the glass it evolved beautifully with lots of fruitiness and sweetness – honey, sweet ripe apples (red and green), some apricots and a perfume edge is showing up. With water: immediately more fruit and more perfume but it does relax and then we get some vanilla and green herbal perfume.
Palate: Oh spices galore! Sweet red and green apples, oak wood spices and mild bitterness, honey and green herbs towards the end. With water it’s milder, spicier with more red and less green (apples, that is).
Finish: Shortish finish, later bordering medium, apples peels (more red apples peels with water), mild green and fresh oak spices.
Thoughts: Both are an prime examples of an excellent Glenlivet casks. Both are superb, crisp and rich with good showing of a Glenlivet character. If I had to choose which one is better, I think I’d pick up the Pristinus as the Carn Ealasaid needs some help and time to coax out the good flavors.