Glenlivet 16 “Nadurra”, Batch 1109I

Glenlivet NadurraOf all the official Glenlivets the Nadurra is the most respected by geeks. It is very good indeed, but the fact that it is (now) cask strength and released in batches probably helps get it in the door. Not everyone loves it (see, for example, Jordan Devereaux’s review of another batch last month) but I’ve not yet met a batch I didn’t like a lot. This review is of a reference sample saved long ago from my very first bottle (I have bottles from two other batches in reserve). It’s still very reasonably priced in the US and should, I think, be a staple in any collection striving for representation from all the parts of the Scotch single malt spectrum.

Glenlivet 16 “Nadurra” (54.2%; Batch 1109I; from a reference sample saved from my own bottle)

Nose: Toasted wood, more buttery than laden with vanilla, at least at first–a little later some vanilla emerges. Also emerging is some sweetness–some honey, some raisiny notes–and also some mild citrus. And the woody note gets a little spicier too. With a couple of drops of water the citrus gets brighter and there’s some muskier fruit too–melon, pear, a hint of apricot.

Palate: Very much as on the nose with the toasted wood leading into honey and then citrus. The citrus expands and then there’s all kinds of other bright fruit as I swallow–peach and pineapple, I want to say. Very nice texture. As on the nose with water: it gets brighter on the whole, the fruitiness gets deeper and integrates nicely with the wood which gets spicier.

Finish: Long. The fruit that emerges on the palate lingers first and then it’s the spicy, tingling wood that lasts. A little saltier with water.

Comments: Very more’ish, as my British friends like to say. And I really don’t think there are very many malts at the affordable end of the spectrum that are more representative of the bright, fruity ex-bourbon Speyside style (though there are reports of batches from recent years not being as good). It’s not the most complex malt but it’s very pleasurable. And water really makes it shine.

Rating: 87 points.

12 thoughts on “Glenlivet 16 “Nadurra”, Batch 1109I

  1. FWIW, I had a bottle of 0112R, too, just like the negative review linked above.

    I thought it was fine, and actually noted that it was better than my previous bottle.

    Maybe a little hot but most Nadurras are a little hot- luckily they swim well.

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  2. The two batches I tried, 0112R and 0410J were strikingly different – the former hot and buttery, without much to redeem it, the latter very fruity and spicy, with similar notes as those described by Mao here – stone fruit, citrus, rye-like spices. It’s interesting that Mao observed the buttery element, which stood out for me in 0112R but not in 0410J.

    The contrast of batches is as large as I’ve experienced in two bottles with same name. But even drunk on its own I simply did not like 0112R – it wasn’t just a case of one being better than the other. I have a stock of 0410J and some other older batch, and until I taste a good new one, Nadurra is on hold for me.

    Whiskies can get better after a spell of bad batches – I had such an experience with Rittenhouse Rye just recently – so I’m hopeful Glenlivet will be back.

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    • Funny thing–taste! I am now about 2/3 into a bottle of the 0112R and think it’s delightful! Spicy, fruity, honey-like sweetness, vanilla from the fresh bourbon barrels. Much better than my previous Nadurra (batch 1111). Indeed, it compares with mao’s notes on the 1109. Whiskybase scores the batch high, as well. Granted, the Nadurra is not the most complex; a good “starter” cs, as is frequently written. A great value at $54 in L.A. area Costco’s. Might there be batch variation within batches?

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  3. Given that both bad reviews–Florin’s and Jordan’s–came from the same bottle Occam’s Razor might suggest a single bad bottle (poorly stored wherever it was bought–on the side perhaps with too much cork contact?). But more likely still is the variability of taste.

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    • That would be great news if it was only my bad bottle. I can’t remember when and where I bought it, but it was opened in August 2012, 7 months after bottling – not much storage time, but a lot of it in a hot Summer . I should say that recently I had bad experiences with recent batches of Glenlivet 12yo, which used to be my go-to whisky.

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  4. I was just dramming this last night, batch 0113V. I love it, the nose is a bit flat but the palate makes up for it in spades, so much sweet fruit – I get a real cherry taste from it. It’s a really vibrant, fun malt that can be enjoyed without having to contemplate subtleties.

    I’ve had a bottle of the Triumph too and I thought it was a pale imitation, perhaps partly due to the lower strength (48%).

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  5. I recently finished an 0309H which I found to be quite good. Lots of sugary sweetness after tamed with a bit of water. I may have to look into a current batch soon.

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