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The Master Distiller's Reserve. Rather a grand name for a bottle that only set me back $65 (AUD). This is a cheeky (and i would say young) triple matured number from The Glenlivet including, sherry, American and traditional oak casks (i though sherry was traditional?).
The presentation is a bit over the top really, there is the usual box which is generally blue with some gold and calligraphy-ied signatures and quotes and all sorts of good stuff. Then when you open the box the bottle is for some reason further encased by a paper bag with more calligraphy and names. I'm sure that seemed like a good idea at the time......
Colour: a deep-ish amber, or burnished copper as some call it
Nose: sherry quite a creamy sherry, honey, summer fruits and maybe hazelnut. With water the bourbon cask comes through more, adds some vanilla and spice to the nose and the floral notes come out.
Pallet: full bodied, again creamy sherry more floral flavours, very light spice at the back. With water again the bourbon is allowed to shine and again vanilla comes through, spices are also more prominent.
Finnish: spices from bourbon casks come through a bit more, slight tang. With water, dies quickly, tad anaemic due to chill filtration.
Mark Neat: 7.8/10. With Water: 7.6/10
Overall: Well its not bad i suppose. A good beginners dram, but its a bit annoying. The water does very good things for the nose and the pallet however it kills the finish which is perfectly adequate neat. If you were to have it neat you would have to make sacrifices on the nose and pallet.
I do think that Glenlivet could do this (triple matured number) very well if they put some effort and better product into it