Master Blender Jim Beveridge and his team, following Johnnie Walker’s innovative spirit, released in 2017, this exciting expression is finished in ex-wine casks. This gives the malt a lovely set of fruit aromas, caramel and subtle spices. A refreshing whisky with a fascinating profile.
You can feel the wine cask influence with aromas you usually don’t see in Walker’s expressions; there are grapefruit and berries, all nicely integrated with more common cereal and honey flavors proper of blended Scotch. There are roasted nuts in the background playing a supporting role and vanilla all around.
This malt is coating and satisfying on the palate, displaying honey, white fruit, toffee, and a subtle vanilla-infused backbone. This is a reasonably young expression, and it has the expected fruitiness and vibrancy. You don’t want to put down your glass.
Not overly long, but quite involved in the back-palate with white fruit, honey and vanilla in the aftertaste. Young and energetic, very appealing.
Sip or skip?
Despite the fun ex-wine cask finish, this expression at the same level as the Johnnie Walker Gold Reserve but less expressive and milder. You might enjoy this expression very much, but you can just as well skip it. Walker has many more exciting expressions in their catalog.
Other Glenlivet expressions to try
The Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve offers a similar spiciness and richness without the white fruit. It’s still a medium-bodied malt that can substitute the Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Wine Cask Blend any time.