‘OB for Jack Tar’ doesn’t really cover it, since it’s indeed an OB, but selected by La Maison du Whisky, under private label for Jack Tar, for the Chinese market. That doesn’t really fit the title, though.
Anyway. Glenlivet is one of those distilleries whose regular output generally doesn’t really appeal to me. Back in the day the Nadurra bottlings were pretty amazing, when they just started with them, but other than that I can’t remember ever being swayed by any of them.
However, there are quite a few private casks and independent bottlings out there that are simply amazing! I remember some entry level ones by Ultimate that punched well above their weight, as well as a few random older bottlings that were just stunning!
This one, from an age perspective, sits in the middle. It isn’t overly aged like some are, but it’s not a youngster either. I guess that means it should be around the sweet spot between the cask taking over and the spirit having had enough time to mellow, and integrate and marry with the oak. Let’s find out!
Even though it’s still quite strong, it’s very timid. Quite warm, and old fashioned. A hint of barley, and slightly acidic oak. Apple peels, ferns, a whiff of crumble pastry too.
The ABV is more noticeable on the palate. Quite strong, with white pepper, old apple, lots of oak. Grape seeds and pears, green orchard fruits. It’s quite dry, and clean.
The finish is less dry, and more fruity. Apples, pears, caramboles, grape seeds. Also oak, a whiff of barley and some ferns.
As I hoped, this is a stunning whisky. Knowing which bottler it comes from sets the bar quite high, since this is fully aimed at the luxury market (clocking in at € 1000 per bottle, according to Whiskybase, I’m not sure if this is retail or secondary).
The whisky is still quite strong, but also brings the flavors that generally start showing more when it mellows over the years. I love the fruity notes, especially combined with some foresty flavors like ferns and clean oak.
A great cask!
Thanks to Jack Tar Holding for supplying the sample!