source Glenlivet ‘Inspiration’ Tour and Tasting – 26/03/2016
Saturday 26th March 2016 saw the first distillery visit to be recorded for DramVentures with a trip to The Glenlivet for their ‘Inspiration’ tour and tasting.
Arriving too early, we enjoyed an excellent lunch in the visitor centre café, before spending some time wandering around the exhibition until it was time for our tour.
The tour began as James, our guide, gathered a small but friendly group of whisky enthusiasts together. After a quick introduction, health and safety brief and explanation of the whisky making process, it was into the still house.
Most modern distilleries are an industrial affair, and The Glenlivet is no exception. The main stillhouse is large, open and metallic, boasting 6 stills (3 pairs) producing some 10 million litres of spirit per year, with plans to almost double that in the near future.
We then journeyed on to the exclusive ‘Warehouse No. 1’ where we were shown the range of bourbon casks, hogsheads and ex-sherry butts. Of particular interest but unfortunately unavailable were the two 53 year old casks. What was on the menu however was a dram of 39 year old malt, drawn straight from the cask, which this writer can honestly say (at the time of writing), is the best dram he has ever tasted. The subsequent two, courtesy of the designated driver, and a generous guide were as well received as the first.
The tour now concluded, it was up to the loft tasting room for a further 7 drams consisting of:
Clearic (New make spirit)
15 French Oak Reserve
Hand filled 16 year old single cask, exclusive to the distillery
Uisage Beatha (16 year old single cask)
XXV (25 year old)
Not to mention the complimentary pen and ‘The Glenlivet Story’ booklet, which was a nice touch.
All told, the tour was worth well more than the £35 price, and is thoroughly recommended. The only problem with this tour is developing a taste for exclusive, expensive whisky!