Complex sherry! Spice, ginger, fresh fruits, dried fruits, and all sorts of wood: wet, varnished, pencil shavings, paper, and more. Peach pastries. Chocolate and red fruit handsoap. The floral, aromatic nature of Glenlivet is bound up in leather and complex oakiness... real S&M Glenlivet.
Great mouthfeel, with immediate flavours of cola or root beer and cocoa. Smoke? or is that just the sherried effect? Upon swallowing, big sherried oak erupts in three (at least!) directions: dry spices, fresh fruit, and, well, more oak! Dried hides, raw ginger,
Scrumptious. A true rarity. An insane bargain.
[These tasting notes are reproduced from drwhisky.blogspot.com]
Nose: Sweet varnished wood at first. Then pastry and baked fruit. Blackberry, plum, ginger, spices. Ripe peaches. Honeycomb. Pepper and a whiff of heather.
Palate: Hot, sweet attack. Pepper and oak spices immediately evident. Ginger, clove, apricot. Quite a weighty beast, sherried oak sweetness giving it splendour and heft. Serious complexity and length.
Finish: Immense. This one can run all day. Long, sweet and spicy like a stick of cinnamon. That's what 30 years in a quality sherry butt will do for you. Obviously I'm biased, but this is the real thing.
Comment: I hadn't tried a cask-strength Glenlivet at this age before. This is nothing like the distillery-bottled 30yo: much heavier, more full-bodied. This is real old-school blow-your-head-off sherried Speyside, with that chewy, leathery character and a complexity approaching profundity.