Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard, and The Glenlivet master distiller, Alan Winchester, have launched the Masters Distiller’s Reserve range – a signature collection of three triple-cask matured single malt whiskies. The collection will be available exclusively in travel retail markets from July 1.
The existing and globally successful whisky, Master Distiller’s Reserve, which has an RRP from US$52, is the cornerstone of the range. This will be joined this year by two luxurious new expressions: Master Distiller’s Reserve Solera Vatted, RRP from US$75, and The Master Distiller’s Reserve Small Batch, RRP from US$150, to become the new permanent range.
The selection of traditional oak, American oak and ex-sherry oak casks is said to offer each expression in the range ‘three times’ the character, for a “discernibly rich and ‘three dimensional’ quality”.
Traditional oak casks used for The Master Distiller’s Reserve deliver the classic style of The Glenlivet of ripe fruit pear and gentle summer floral notes - while first fill American oak provides depth, with creamy notes of coconut and soft fudge. Ex-sherry oak is used to impart dried fruit flavours and spice aromas offering a deeper complexity and richness.
For the new Master Distiller’s Reserve Solera Vatted, ex-sherry, American oak and traditional oak – are brought together in a solera vat. The vat is never emptied, a process which creates a rich and intense whisky, developing greater complexity year on year. The high concentration of first fill American oak casks brings a creaminess and honeyed sweetness to this expression, which has a velvety character.
The new Master Distiller’s Reserve Small Batch is created with individually selected casks, chosen from the collection of whiskies maturing in The Glenlivet warehouses. Every single cask is nosed prior to the final selection and the finest first fill ex-sherry and American oak casks are combined with traditional oak casks to create this single malt with subtle notes of fruit and a delicate spiciness. It is then bottled and released in small batches, each with a unique batch number.
Alan Winchester comments: “The Master Distiller’s Reserve range is a collection of exceptional single malt whiskies that marries thecraft of the cask and the craft of flavour whilst maintaining the distinct floral characteristics of ‘the single malt that started it all’. A range of this nature can only be created with exceptional quality casks, industry leading expertise and a forward looking mind set; it is an honour that every bottle bears my name.”
Each expression retains the distinctive shape of The Glenlivet bottle and is presented in clear glass to reveal the alluring gold colouring, used to reinforce the quality credentials of the liquid. The new signifier for The Glenlivet, the Packhorse Bridge that crosses the River Livet, features on the bottle ‘cartouche’ as a symbol of authenticity and heritage.
1 June 2015 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor