28 May 2012

Glenlivet Josie 17 "A Jubilant Dramburee"

As with a whole gaggle of other distillery’s The Glenlivet is proof and testament to the fact that just because you’re one of the world’s biggest selling single malts, and in this case the world’s second, there’s absolutely no compromise in the quality and indeed the traditions that go into making its whisky. Infact for a brand that you’ll see reassuringly represented in a multitude of bars around the world, there’s a real sense of added occasion and satisfaction in knowing that it’s still pretty much made the same way it always has.

Despite its more than an average outturn of whisky each year, The Glenlivet very much seems to have a ‘yearn for quality, rather than churn for quantity’ attitude when it comes to its range of bottling’s. Be it for an addition to its Classic, Nadurra, Cellar or its Single Cask Edition offerings, there’s very much a ‘when it’s ready, it’s ready and not before’ way of doing things.

Lucky for us, this month sees the release of a clutch of ‘most definitely ready’ new additions to their Single Cask Edition range, which includes The Glenlivet Josie. A 17 year old single malt which has been aged in a first fill ex sherry butt, and takes its name from the distillery’s underground spring. Last week I was very fortunate to sample this particular release which is limited to just 464 bottles.

The nose kicks off with seductively sweet and tenaciously thick waves of sherry soaked sultanas, followed by a pleasurable protruding platoon of all the other fruity and winter spiced delights that would make for the most decadently delicious and umptuously imaginable fruit cake.

A grasping fists worth of strawberry and orange fondant filled chocolates from a box of Cadbury’s Roses and a few squares of Fruit and Nut from the same said confectioner make for the next set of sensations, along with a quarter pound bag of sherbet orange, sugar coated almonds and a pink calorificly sweet cloud of candyfloss.

Warm slices of spiced malt loaf smeared in cherry and plum jam, along with the distant aroma of custard being poured over a sticky toffee pudding then conclude the cosy cavalcade of sweetness, making way for something more reminiscent of a slightly under ripened banana and a subtle flouncing mist of menthol.

The palate kicks off with a ballsy balanced bout of sweet spicy sumptuousness. Pulped dates, sultanas and mixed peels, partake in a particularly passionately pronounced palatable rumba alongside an emerging wealth of winter and wood spice.

Fennel infused orange marmalade and more of those aforementioned Cadbury’s Roses and sugared almonds make for the next set of palatable delights, along with a moist and moreish wedge of fruit cake that’s been topped with a thick and garish layer of marzipan.

Poached pears sprinkled with a pinch of black pepper, asparagus spears covered in vanilla hollandaise and an echo of a mid-priced desert wine, make a cheeky brief and very subtle appearance towards the finish. But it’s not long before something more cosy and familiar in the form of that sticky toffee pudding and custard makes a reappearance.

The finish itself is long lingering and leisurely and exquisitely exudes more of the sweet and spicy delights that this particular drop of drammage delivered so well. I wholeheartedly GlenLoveIt, and look forward to sampling the other new releases in the series at some time in the not too distant future.

Purchase Whisky, Wine, Beer and Spirits from Master of Malt