Of 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.