Glenlivet 19, 1995 (Signatory for Binny’s)

Glenlivet 19, 1995, Signatory for Binny's
Yet another recent Signatory exclusive for Binny’s from the group bottle split I coordinated in February. I’ve previously reviewed a very young Clynelish, a 16 yo Linkwood and a 17 yo Laphroaig from the Signatorys in that lot. After this 19 yo Glenlivet all that will remain will be a 26 yo Balmenach (and also a G&M Ledaig) and I’ll then go back to my usual diet of entirely irrelevant reviews. Let’s get right to it.

Glenlivet 19, 1995 (58.3%; Signatory for Binny’s; first fill sherry butt 166947; from a bottle split)

Nose: Raisins and pencil lead at first and then the rest of the first fill sherry package arrives: orange peel, leather, plum sauce, apricot, soy sauce (just a bit), dried shiitakes, just a hint of gunpowder. As it sits the sweeter fruit expands and there’s just a touch of sweet pipe tobacco too now. With a few drops of water the gunpowder recedes and it gets stickier with toffee; after a few beats the fruit begins to expand (particularly the apricot). 

Palate: Everything promised by the nose and pretty much in that order—just a bit “darker” here. Very drinkable despite the high strength but water should do very good things for it. A few more sips first. More orange peel as it sits and a bit more of the soy sauce and the leather/gunpowder complex. Okay, let’s add water: as on the nose water pushes back the the touch of sharpness and pulls out more fruit; sweeter here now and spicier too.

Finish: Long. Not much new at first but gets spicier as it fades. With time there’s some dark chocolate and pepper. With water the sweet pipe tobacco from the nose shows up.

Comments: A lovely sherry bomb, especially on the nose. Instead of chasing overpriced Glendronach single casks of uncertain origin and variable quality, get a bottle of this. You won’t regret it. If K&L had bottled something half as good as this you would have received nine breathless emails about it; as it’s from Binny’s, they’ve not hyped it at all and there’s a lot of it still available. Watch the water though: add too much and it’ll turn a bit too sweet on the palate (with a metallic edge).

Rating: 88 points.

[The notes above were taken when the bottle was at the halfway mark. At that point I took it to my local group’s March tasting where it was the top whisky on the night. It came back home with about 150 ml left in the bottle and from that point on it seemed to quite quickly get more and more oak-forward on the palate and sharper in general. So, my advice would be to not wait too long to finish it once you get past the halfway mark.]

10 thoughts on “Glenlivet 19, 1995 (Signatory for Binny’s)

  1. The funny thing is that their hype at the time for some other Speysiders they had just got in was “What would a similarly-aged Glenlivet cost?” and, lo and behold, they had one at roughly the same price.

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  2. I assume you meant to say K&L and Binny’s have split casks from time to time. It’s funny how Driscoll goes on about their connections/relationships with Signatory but by and large all the stores are basically choosing from similar stock.

    And yes, the proximate cask Sku reviewed sounds very similar to this one.

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    • Finally got around to trying both side x side. It’s not even close, the Binnys is much better from nose to finish.
      It has to be mentioned that Binnys is a 1st fill sherry cask while the K&L isn’t.
      This one like the Signatory Tamdhu (and I’m sure many others) was picked by Monique.

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        • Def referring to John’s link. I received my sample from that very release after all the K&L propaganda on it. It certainly did not taste like a 1st fill.

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          • Well, someone who has a bottle will have to tell us what it says on the label. But based on your description of the actual whisky, this is sounding more and more to me like a story where “accidental low price, what a deal we got for you!” actually means “first-fill sherry cask that turned out to be not very active and so was given to us cheap”.

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