Glenlivet replaces ages with new NAS range in TRBy Amy Hopkins
The Glenlivet is replacing its 12, 15 and 18 Year Old bottlings with a new “core” NAS collection in global travel retail – an extension of its Master Distiller’s Reserve expression.
Chivas Brothers, owner of The Glenlivet, said the aged expressions will still be available in domestic markets and that the new Master Distiller’s Reserve range will form the brand’s primary focus in travel retail.
The new three-strong range includes the original Master Distiller’s Reserve, first launched in 2011, new Master Distiller’s Reserve Solera Vatted, and new Master Distiller’s Reserve Small Batch – all triple cask matured.
Exclusively available in travel retail, the range is a permanent addition to The Glenlivet’s stable and has been aged in traditional (virgin), American and ex-Sherry oak casks.
Master Distiller’s Reserve Solera Vatted, priced US$75, brings the three types of aged whisky together in a Solera vat and is made using a “higher proportion” of first-fill American oak barrels to deliver “creamy notes of coconut and soft fudge”. Chivas Brothers has not disclosed the age of the oldest liquid in the vat.
Master Distiller’s Reserve Small Batch, priced US$150, is created using specially selected whisky casks, each tested by The Glenlivet master distiller Alan Winchester, whose name is inscribed on each bottle in the range.
Each numbered batch of the expression will be limited edition and “unique”, but the bottling itself is a permanent addition. Chivas Brothers said how many of each particular batch is released will depend on the “quality of the cask”.
“The Master Distiller’s Reserve range is a collection of exceptional single malt whiskies that marries the craft of the cask and the craft of flavour whilst maintaining the distinct floral characteristics of the ‘single malt that started it all’,” said master distiller Winchester.
“A range of this nature can only be created with exceptional quality casks, industry leading expertise and a forward looking mindset; it is an honour that every bottle bears my name.”
All bottles in the collection are presented in clear glass to “reinforce the quality credentials of the liquid”, while The Glenlivet’s new “signifier” – the Packhorse Bridge which crosses the River Livet – also features.
“Master Distiller’s Reserve has proven to be a huge success at global travel retail,” said Nikki Burgess, The Glenlivet brand director. “It has been a natural next step for us to extend this into a permanent travel retail exclusive range to further our credentials in the super-premium whisky category.
“International travellers are a specific group with a thirst for innovation and exclusivity and The Glenlivet is in prime position to deliver this.”
All expressions in the Master Distiller’s Reserve range are bottled at 40% abv and will be rolling out across global duty free stores from 1 July.
It was revealed In March this year that The Glenlivet 12 Year Old would be replaced by the new no-age-statement Founder’s Reserve in a number of markets, however it will not be replaced outright “on a global basis”.
Laurent Lacassagne, CEO of Chivas Brothers, admitted availability continues to be a “big challenge” in the malt industry, but was firm on Chivas Brothers’ strategy to retain age statements within its portfolio.