Glenlivet Nàdurra First Fill Selection whisky

A little while back I received a sample of Nàdurra First Fill Selection only to get all full of horrible cold when the time came to taste it. Hmph. After recovering from this particular malady, I then promptly succumbed to some kind of debilitating manflu straight away! (But that’s another story, with another untasted sample staring at me throughout, goading me to get better. Or at least recover the sense of smell…)

Fortunately, between these two bouts of sub-optimum health (during which I was ejected from MoM towers as they rightly feared I’d infect the populous) I did at least manage to find some time to try this new Glenlivet! It’s also now in stock and available to buy, so it seems like a good time to pop some thoughts on the ol’ blog.

Manflu

Serious stuff. Sort of.

Right, so what exactly is this new Nàdurra all about? The second permanent addition to the much-loved range is “matured in first fill american white oak casks” “that have never before been used to mature Scotch whisky“. So is this basically a NAS version of the now classic 16 year old single malt whisky that’s matured in first-fill ex-bourbon American oak casks? First-fill bourbon casks haven’t been used to mature Scotch before, have they? Well, no actually, it’s not that all…

It remains a mystery to me why you wouldn’t be explicit about something that is the point of difference for an expression, but what they’re actually getting at is ‘virgin’ American oak. They haven’t been used to mature anything beforehand. Maybe I’m being overly picky (or simply grumpy having not full recovered from a double bout of illness). I mean, the “Nàdurra” on the front of the bottle is a different colour so it’s obviously different, right? (Ex-bourbon 16 yo = red, Oloroso = purple and First Fill = green). If you visit the Glenlivet blog then they do mention “virgin casks” and “untouched oak”, which the distillery has been using “since the early 1900s”.

In the end, what made everything make perfect sense was tasting it (alongside a bottle of 16 year old I had open, to keep me honest).

Glenlivet Nàdurra First Fill Selection whisky

The Glenlivet Nàdurra First Fill Selection Batch FF0714 – 63.1% ABV.

Tasting Note for The Glenlivet Nàdurra First Fill Selection Batch FF0714 :

Nose: Frosted Shreddies, coconut crème brulee and vanilla infused sugar. Sultanas moving into marmalade, a hint of blackcurrant. Baked apple slices in custard. With water it opens further with gummy bears, pear drops and a hint of fern, a subtle floral soapiness and some buttery toffee. Mr Whippy’s ice cream oysters too.

Palate: After a second, oomph! Powerful and sweet toasty oak. Rhubarb and custard boiled sweets on the second sip. Water reveals foam bananas and a hint of bubblegum (perhaps some signs of youth?).

Finish: Slightly smoky oak and almond goodness, with water revealing some citrus that, whilst I don’t like to quote official tasting notes, is indeed “refreshing”.

Overall: Quite a bit sweeter, with more vanilla and less of the warming wood spice found in the ex-bourbon cask 16 year old, both of which are to be expected. It’s very good, naturally (or nàdurrally… nàdurra also means natural… there’s a joke in there somewhere).

Jake