Signatory Vintage Glenlivet 12 Year First Fill Sherry (2006)

Scotch Whisky Review #181: Signatory Vintage Glenlivet 12 Year First Fill Sherry (2006)

Distillery: Glenlivet

Bottler: Signatory Vintage

Region: Speyside

ABV: 60.9%, Cask Strength

Age: 12 Year, Distilled 2006

Cask Type: First Fill Sherry Butt

Cask No.: #901275

Color: 1.6, Mahogany/Henna Notes. Natural Color and Non-Chill Filtered.


Nose: (according to the wife) It smells delicious. It starts off with a lot of deep, dark fruit notes. Pomegranate, prunes, and cherries are the ones that pop up most though there were more. There’s also a bit of nuttiness with walnut being the most prominent.

Palate: Starts off surprisingly light and sweet on the tongue, it’s like a thin maple syrup. The nuttiness from the nose continues here and combined with that maple syrup leaves a note of maple glazed nuts. There’s also bit of dark dried fruit. A bit of dried date pops up along with a very tart dried cherry and some raisins. There’s a little bit of salt mixed in with the dried fruit mix. With some water, it does get sweeter with more of the dried fruit notes popping up. They lose a bit of definition, however, and just turn into a mouthful of dried fruit. With a lot of water, just about everything gets drowned out by a very prominent salted caramel note.

Finish: Medium in length. It’s very nutty and oaky with a bit of raisin dust to go with it. There is a bit of ethanol, which is slightly too strong and bitter leaving behind a slightly unpleasant aftertaste.

Conclusion: There is perhaps nothing more frustrating with this hobby when you come across a whisky that is so close to touching greatness but there is just one glaring thing that’s holding it back. This first fill sherry Glenlivet should be the poster child of that. The nose is phenomenal, the deep dark fruity notes and nuttiness are just so inviting. The palate has layers of depth and complexity with the maple glazed nuts and dark dried fruits galore. The finish is mostly nice, with that little bit of dryness from the nuts, oak, and raisin dust just driving you to the next sip. And then there’s that bitter, burning ethanol. No matter how much water I added, I couldn’t seem to get rid of that note. So close, but yet so far. Still, if you put aside that singular note, this whisky is fantastic and I really would have liked to have a full bottle to keep experimenting with.

Final Score: 82.

Scotch Whisky Review #181, Speyside Review #76, Whisky Network Review #248


Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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