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The Glenlivet 70 Year Old – The World’s Oldest Whisky (Mk 2)

by Ben Ellefsen     8. March 2011 15:26

Glenlivet 70 Year Old

Those good ol’ boys at Gordon and Macphail have done it again – they’ve release another ‘the world’s oldest whisky’…

Following on from the huge success of last year’s release of a 70 year old Mortlach under their new ‘Generations’ brand, G&M have released another cask that has been sitting dormant in their warehouse since the days of the second world war.

Perhaps the most astonishing part of both of these releases has been that neither of the whiskies have been described in any way as ‘over the hill’ or ‘too woody’. It’s testament to the absolute vastness of G&M’s stock that they’re able to pull out gems such as these after the best part of a lifetime in Oak.

Distilled on 4th February 1940 (just 3 days before the release of Disney’s Pinocchio – thank you Wikipedia), the whisky was filled into a first-fill sherry butt which has yielded only 100 70cl bottles, and 175 20cl bottles. The bottling ABV (at natural cask strength of 45.9%) is actually comparatively high for a whisky of over 50 years. Some older bottlings are actually bottled ‘just in time’ to prevent them from dipping below the legal minimum of 40% ABV, there is clearly no danger of that here, which makes us wonder if perhaps there’s something else lurking in the wings?

We’re told that the release of the 1940 whisky will be followed up by one Single-cask Glenlivet from every decade up to the 1990s; a 1954 at £1250; a 1963 at £750; a 1974 at £500; a 1980 at £250 and a 1991 at £95. More on this as we have them available!

Glenlivet 70 Year Old

For now – here are our tasting notes – ably compiled by our Scottish Sales Manager – Chris Hoban:


Glenlivet 70 Year Old

First Fill American White Oak Sherry Butt Bedded down 1940 during the battle of Britain, bottled 2010 45.9% Abv - 100 70cl decanters and 175 20cl bottles.

Released to the melody of 1940's swing music, walked down the aisle of the Private Suite at Edinburgh Castle by a Lady in a fur shawl and red dress: The Glenlivet 70 by Gordon & MacPhail.

Nose: At first, the impact is blood oranges, tangerines and a waxy nature. Then what follows is vanilla pastries, Jaffa cake jelly, bananas and a biscuity malty note. Really fresh. It jumps out of the glass and has such life for something with such age.

Palate: Slight hint of ash, slight hint of peat, again an orange jelly and zestiness. Creamy and slight hints of a Ruby Port.

Finish: Beautiful. Liqueur chocolates, stewed apples and high-cocoa dark chocolate. A nice citrusy note followed by the first taste of dry oak. This tiniest bit of dryness entices you to taste again. Sadly my sample is all gone.

You can buy the 70cl Glenlivet 70 Year Old 1940 for £13,000

or you can buy a 20cl Glenlivet 70 Year Old 1940 for £3,200

- The Chaps at Master of Malt -

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Categories : News | Whisky


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