Tasting notes: Glenlivet 1954 & Caol Ila 1968 – GM

Glenlivet 1954 & Caol Ila 1968

Time for some goodies from Gordon & MacPhail again! I actually received these samples a while ago, but I’m a bit behind in writing tasting notes. Anyway, let’s talk about these two ridiculously old whiskies.

These are two releases of the private collection, but let’s start with the Glenlivet 1954. Yes you read that right… 1954 (!). That’s just as old as my father, namely 64 years! And yes, that’s ridicously old (sorry, dad). I think that’s quite special. Normally I am not a fan of Glenlivet, but I am very curious about this one.

This Glenlivet has matured in a refill sherry butt and is bottled at 41% ABV.

Tasting notes: Glenlivet 1954

Nose: Ok, this is very surprising. This is really, really nice. Tropical fruits to start with, mostly apricots. A hint of wood. Then overripe pears, oranges and chocolate too. A waxy, glue-like note in the background. Honey. And a bit of dried grass and tobacco. Some peat now too?

Taste: Quite fruity at first, then the wood kicks in. But it is not too woody. Impressive at this age. Menthol. Pears and caramel. Followed by dried mandarins and honey. Some pineapple here as well. Bananas, and it’s a bit nutty. It’s a bit thin, though.

Finish: it’s mid-long, mostly with pears and a hint of wood spices.

This is quite impressive, actually. Ok, the mouthfeel is somewhat thin, but the flavours are quite beautiful here, both in the nose and in the taste. Like I told you before, I’m normally not a fan of Glenlivet, but this is something else. It might actually be the best Glenlivet I’ve tasted so far. Beautiful!

Score: 90

Up next is a 50 year old Caol Ila. And this is actually the oldest Caol Ila single malt ever released. Yes, I’m impressed. Again. I happen to like Caol Ila a lot, but can it handle this age? That is, of course, always the question with these oldies. Let’s go find out, shall we?

This Caol Ila has matured in a refill sherry hogshead and is bottled at 52.5% ABV.

Tasting notes: Caol Ila 1968

Nose: A lovely gentle peat layer. And also very fruity! Red apples, a sweet pink grapefruit. Raisins and some vanilla sweetness. Somewhat smoky. Menthol. And a herbal note. Beautiful nose! Full of flavours. It varies very much between the fruit and the peat. What makes it quite interesting.

Taste: Very nice! This is quite thick. And what a lovely taste. The peat is here, but in an elegant way. A briny note. Then red berries, apples and oranges. A faint hint of grapefruit. And there’s smoke in the background. Somewhat woody, but just a little bit. Some honey and menthol.

Finish: A nice long finish with peat and menthol. A pinch of salt.

This is fantastic! It can handle its age very well. The high ABV really benefits here. The taste is quite oily and thick, which I love. And very well balanced, but plenty of interesting developments too. Excellent quality!

Score: 92

Thanks to Gordon & MacPhail for the samples.

Glenfarclas 1997 1.203

Tasting notes: Glenfarclas 1997 1.203 – SMWS

Back to the Scotch Malt Whisky Society for a Glenfarclas 1997 1.203, but it also goes by the…

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