Friday Tastings

The Glenlivet XXV

Our weekly drinks column is back! To celebrate, we asked an old friend to dust off his pen (and his uncanny booze-describing abilities) for its triumphal return.

Editor’s Note—It’s been a while since Craig Bridger’s byline last appeared on this site, but the man has a good excuse: a year and a half ago, Craig accepted a job as brand ambassador for The Glenlivet, which, in addition to being a killer job — dude gets paid to drink Scotch! — precludes him from writing about spirits from other brands. Still, when we decided to revive our Friday Tastings column from its long, alcohol-induced slumber, it seemed only right to tap Craig to write the re-inaugural column. We knew he was going to write about — and let us taste — something from the The Glenlivet. What we didn’t know is that it would be something this special. I’ll let him take it from here.

One thing about The Glenlivet: It’s a name familiar to anyone possessing even a glancing knowledge of whisky. The Glen of all Glens (a less than unbiased claim, but I shall claim it nonetheless) was pretty much the first brand name in the industry. The Glenlivet 12-YR, in that iconic green bottle, is known all over the world. That means, when I encounter a bunch of editors with a Ron Burgundy-like enthusiasm for Scotch, I’ve gotta throw down a bit to surprise them.

And that’s when I reach for the incomparable Glenlivet 25-Year Old.

Which, to be clear, has the age written out in Roman numerals on the label, people. Like The Super Bowl. Because this whisky is an event. (OK, also: not thoroughly unbiased).

In addition to being a quarter century old, The Glenlivet 25-Year is finished in first fill Oloroso Sherry casks — unique among our whiskies. The nose is slightly peppery, with sweet fruit, and hints of pipe tobacco. Each sip is warming and generous, full of vanilla and cinnamon, and will park itself, fat and spreading, on your tongue. If all the good cheer, comfort, and indulgence of the holidays could be distilled and bottled, it just might taste like this. It’s one of those whiskies that can transform any humdrum moment — a Friday afternoon in the Gilt Man offices, say — into an occasion.

Just because I’m biased doesn’t mean I’m wrong.

And as we roll into the holidays, you could certainly pay a lot less for a bottle of Scotch. Like most gifts, you might not long remember it. Or, you could pay about $400 for this one, and nobody will soon forget.

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