Gordon & MacPhail bottled this Glenlivet 1966 in the semi-official George & J.G. Smith’s range, a gloriously retro label that refers to the founder of the distillery and his son. Let’s not forget independent bottlers like G&M were bottling single malt expressions from different distilleries at a time when the official focus was still almost exclusively on blended whisky.
This Glenlivet 1966 was bottled back in 2014 but somehow it is still available, with a surrounding box that seems to have been added later.
Glenlivet 47 yo 1966 (40%, Gordon & MacPhail ‘George & J.G. Smith’s’ 2014)
Nose: dusty attic at first, mixed with fir honey and exotic hardwoods, Earl Grey tea and subtle whiffs of turpentine. Heather honey and yellow wildflowers. Old wax candles. Hints of almond paste on toasted bread as well. Blonde tobacco leaves and leather. Complex, not very loud but a 1920s blender’s glass does wonders.
Mouth: soft with pollen, honeys and ripe yellow apples, as well as some caramelized nuts and sweet spice. Nutmeg. Hints of tropical fruits jam, raisins and aged orange liqueur. Meadow flowers again. Chamomile tea and touches of camphor. All this with a hint of old, almost smoky wood.
Finish: relatively long, with a vague, ripe sweetness and polished oak, as well as subtle resins and warming spice.
A delicate, even slightly shy but utterly drinkable Speyside whisky that shows no wood astringency whatsoever after all these years. Similar to some of these undisclosed Speyside whiskies we’ve had the past few years, here even older still. Full bottles are still available from TWE for instance. I bought a sample as part of the G&M long-aged whisky set.