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A few years ago Glenlivet released their 16 year old "Nadurra" (Gaelic for "natural"), a non-chill filtered cask strength whisky. This newer edition of the Nadurra range is NAS and matured exclusively in first-fill Oloroso sherry casks. This is batch OL0614, bottled in June 2014. Note that the water I use is the Uisge Source Speyside Water of Scotland (from the Cairngorms Well in Moray).
The colour is a deep gold. This has a deep rich dark fruitcake nose, very rum-raisin. Cloves, baked apples and dark brown sugar. Water nicely opens everything up and brings out some red liquorice. Unfortunately, a sulphurous off-note scorches what are otherwise long and rich scents; this could also use a little more age.
Spicier on the palate, with cinnamon and paprika, more dried fruits, dark honey and black liquorice. Cherry (well, Black Forest Cake if you factor in the sweetness and baking spices) is wrapped in musty leather armchair. But it's a little too sherried to my liking, and still a little sulphurous. Water lightens up the palate a little, but this malt doesn't really need water (surprising given the high ABV.)
The finish is too chalky and fuzzy, though it gives notes of tanned leather and warm spices. Despite some richness and depth, for me this is quite disappointing as I really enjoyed their first Nadurra edition (and I generally like Glenlivet, especially independent bottlings that are cask-strength), but this time around I find it lacking in subtlety and finesse - but maybe I shouldn't be looking for that in a cask-strength first-fill Oloroso! BUT then again - compare this to Aberlour a'Bunadh Batch 47, which is also an NAS Speysider, non-chill filtered, matured in first-fill Oloroso, and bottled cask-strength at 60.7% (exactly as this Glenlivet is); there you will find that subtlety and finesse missing here. Being so close in makeup, it's fascinating to taste these two side-by-side, comparing and contrasting their qualities. Aberlour wins, by the way, but you be the judge.