I had good reason to be wary of another NAS "reserve" bottling from Glenlivet, after trying Founder's Reserve. But this one is partially finished in cognac casks, so curiosity got the better of me.
Sweet on the nose, and somewhat restrained, with fresh pears and deeper layers of citrus. In time, vanilla, gentle spice, and yes, cognac. Very approachable yet intriguing, suggesting deeper layers than you would expect.
Smooth and light-bodied, with gradually-building sweetness before oaky dryness takes over. Definitely more intensity mid-palate than you typically see in this type of light Speyside malt. Nice interplay between the fruity cognac and malt flavours. Doesn't taste young or underdeveloped to me.
The finish is quite long and dry with fruity and oaky notes. Overall this whisky is nicely balanced and enjoyable. While it isn't a huge departure from the Speyside style, it is nevertheless a welcome addition to the Glenlivet range.