So maybe not every whisky has a story. For me, the only thing remarkable about this expression was where it was found -- Costco in Redwood City, CA. Perhaps as a result of finding it there, the price was outstanding. Sometimes you find greatness at a great price.
Just the facts:
16 years old
Cask strength - 59.2% abv (118.4 proof!)
Bottled Dec 2006
Distilled on or before Dec 1990
Obtained from Costco (my wife's choice)
Price: $45 or so (an absolute steal)
Hella spicy, strong - seriously...not your usual Glenlivet!
Intense pepper, cinnamon oil
Some bitter notes, like coffee
With water, considerable sweetness emerges, like butterscotch or caramel candy -- eventually, after you get past the fire, you can pick these out even without water
I am even getting a cherry cough syrup note in the background -- like after you drink a bit, then you get this note when you exhale
I hear that Nàdurra releases after this had a slightly different recipe. I haven't had a chance to compare them side by side in a double-blind taste test (not that I'd trust my palate to make such fine assessments anyway...) so I can't comment on whether this is better.
What I can say is that this Glenlivet expression is a very interesting whisky, and it is a significant departure from what I usually get from Glenlivet...in a good way! It's another whisky that you could spend an entire evening with a single serving. If you can find Nàdurra for less than $70 (allowing for inflation) -- get it.