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Glenlivet's Nadurra is the most natural bottling in their range, released without chill filtering and at cask strength, a sturdy 54.8% in this case. These two things are definite pluses in my book, and things I wish I saw more of. It's also aged 16 years in first-fill American oak casks.
Appearance: a light, clear, pale gold-yellow.
Nose: Strong, sweet vanilla, almost like a good cream soda. Light floral notes, mild sweet baking spices, honey, apple, toasted oak, and a mild note of grass or straw that I found quite pleasant. Intense (as one would expect) and fairly fresh. Time in the glass or water bring the vanilla out even more, and also bring more of the oak notes forward.
Palate: Rich-textured, which one would expect from a high-strength, non chill filtered whisky. Sweet vanilla, honey, spices, and quite a hit of sweet, juicy peach lie over a bed of toasted oak, melon, mild floral notes, poached pear, and hazelnut.
Finish: Fairly long, dry, and bittersweet, with orange, lavender, mild spices, licorice, toasted hazelnuts, and lots of oak mingled with some lingering peach and honey.
Overall Impressions: Not overly complex but the flavors present are bold, refined, and well-integrated. The strength and lack of chill filtration suits this whisky perfectly, allowing for the mix of intensity and subtlety of flavor that is one of my favorite things about a good whisky. I also really quite liked the way the fairly sweet vanilla-fruit palate transitioned into a lengthy, dry, wood-dominated finish.