Scotch Whisky Review #399: Glenlivet Baretto Import Milano 18 Year (1951)
Age: 18 Year. Distilled in 1951.
Color: 1.4, Tawny.
Nose: Oh boy, this comes out swinging with a ton (and I mean a ton) of really rich sherry notes. It is notes of really well aged, old sherry that has a seemingly neverending richness and depth to it. Some notes of something that reminds me of freshly sliced cucumber comes through behind it oddly enough. Old dusty books, a bit of mustiness, and muskmelon wrap things up.
Palate: Just like the nose suggests, the first note out of the gate is a really rich old sherry. It’s got that same depth of character to it. Grapes in various forms, namely shine muscat and champagne, come through. The champagne grapes seem like ones that are on the verge of starting to ferment on the vine. With a drop of water, the flavors become even more intense and richer. Those notes of muscat and champagne grapes really take the reigns. Some beeswax and old wood come through. A touch of nuttiness, almond oil is what my mind went to, along with dried acacia flowers wrap things up.
Finish: Medium-to-short in length. Chocolate is the name of the game here in the form of a chocolate dust. A touch of eucalyptus, a tinge of muscat grape, and a hint of tobacco all follow the chocolate before that dried acacia flower note wraps things up once more.
Conclusion: I’ve often heard that some of the old Italian imports of whisky can be quite good, though that seems to be more in a reference to old Samaroli or Moon-Import, so I was really excited to see what this old Glenlivet could be about. If this bottle is representative at all of how Glenlivet of old was, I have to say modern Glenlivet has truly lost their way. The nose is just enticing with tons of rich sherry notes coupled with a lovely mustiness. The palate brings more of that richness to the forefront and adds in some notes of beeswax, flowers, and nuts to make it such a delicious experience. The finish just wraps all of it up nicely and seemingly puts a beautiful bow on it. Fantastic from start to finish and I’m very happy to have had a bit of this to try!
Final Score: 90.
Scotch Whisky Review #399, Speyside Review #146, Whisky Network Review #553
- 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.