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Glenlivet Alpha

Average score from 4 reviews and 4 ratings 87

Glenlivet Alpha

Product details

  • Brand: Glenlivet
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 50.0%

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Glenlivet Alpha

Glenlivet decided to play a little game with us whisky noobs last year. It released a whisky with absolutely no information. Nothing on the type of cask. Nothing on the age. Also it released only 3500 bottles worldwide. And decided it would be a good idea to let people come up with their own theories.

Not a bad stunt if you ask. Though certainly not a unique one. Jim Mcewan holds that distinction with the Bruichladdich Black Art and Blacker Still. A secret he's yet to reveal.

Glenlivet, though, made everyone wait six weeks before revealing how this whisky was made through a video on their website. Though before you could get to the reveal you had to play a little game trying to identify flavors and aromas before the video could actually be played. A fun little game if you ask me.

The video then finally revealed that the Alpha was a No Age Statement (how disappointing) whisky and without any chill filtration or added color (no real surprises there).

What is really interesting is that the casks used for maturation were actually new wood casks that previously held single malt whisky! I don't think anyone has ever done that before. It is still typically a Glenlivet, though, and I'm not sure I found anything really different about this.

My sample is from a brand new bottle and served at 50%

Nose: Very sweet. Vanilla. Pudding. Citrus. Lemon. Hard boiled sweets. Wild flowers. Fresh grass. Pineapple. It has all the calling cards of the distillery but none of the complexity. I found it quite uncomplicated. Still not bad, though.

Palate: Spice. Pineapple. Honey. Apricots. Pear. Pudding. Sweets. Lemon. Citrus. Honey. Vanilla. Interesting palate. Feels young to me. Has quite a spicy zing to it. The fruits come out next. But once again not the most complex whisky I've drunk.

Finish: Medium. Spicy sweet. Hint of vanilla. Very strong oak.

This is a greatly presented whisky. I like all the marketing shenanigans that went behind putting it out there.

Did it blow me away? No.

Am I glad I have it sitting on my shelf? Why not?


When Femke Tijtsma Sijtsma - aka Whisky Girl – started looking for candidates to join her in a birthday tasting, I was only to happy to get in touch with her. Not only because this is a fun idea, but I was also intrigued by the bottle she proposed: the Glenlivet Alpha. When it was launched in June 2013, it caused quite a stir. It was the first ever Glenlivet that showed no age nor any information about the cask. Only the ABV was mentioned on the label. A bit of an enigma, always exciting.

The nose is very fruity, almost like lemonade. Satsuma, pineapple, rhubarb, oranges, cherries, coconut. It does not end. A bit of puff pastry. Add some vanilla custard, toffee and nuts and you have a very light footed, fruity aperitif style whisky.

The arrival is fairly light, but again very fruit. Call it honeysweet. Pineapple and oranges in the lead. Gooseberries join in. The nuts reveal themselves as almonds. Something that reminds me of pastry again. A mild pepper and clear hint of cloves.

The finish is still quite sweet and dies a spicy death.

Good? Certainly. Special? Well, not so much. But a very nice aperitif to be sure. The bottle sold out in a flash and now easily fetches 200 to even 400 EUR. Thanks, Femke. And happy birthday to you!


Appearance: Light Straw

Nose: Citrus, floral...really opened up later with a few drops of water that revealed clean and crisp scents, apples and a very gentle oak in the background.

Palate: Bursts on the tongue hitting different areas like the first few bites of Juicy Fruit gum, thick mouthfeel, apple pie crust with a tart peak, shades of bourbon

Finish: Progressively becomes nutty, caramel and chocolate (think Rolo candy)


I have heard many references to Nadurra, and I think they are just. I can truly see the family resemblance. All in all, this is a solid whisky at 50% ABV. The world needs more high ABV whiskeys! Tasty and enjoyable ride. I have heard it may retail for around $120, in which case I will likely stick with the Nadurra, but this is certainly one ride I would take again.


Nose: I Can’t say it’s got Lilt (since i have nothing to compare it to) but I’d say it’s very interesting and quite tropical. Coconut , pineapple. Papaya. Sweet vanilla custard. Gentle perfumed oak. White pepper. Very fragrant, and quite nice. I would not have guessed it being so fruity (don’t know why not, actually, but somehow i thought it would be more woody and with less exotics) – a rather nice surprise.

Palate: Continuing the tropical party. Big coconut, vanilla and creamy feeling all over. Lovely mouth feel. Sweet and delicious. Sweet dough. Grapefruit and lovely citrus too on another layer.

Finish : spice. Oak and lush tropical fruit: pineapple. Grapefruit too.

Will try and get a hold of a bottle of this one... Only 24 available in the entire country it seems so it might be hard :)

Isn't 'first fill scotch barrels" another way of saying "refill barrels"? The definition-difference eludes me.

Perhaps it is like the Astar where they use virgin oak barrels.

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