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Drink Review: Glenlivet Nadurra Peated Whisky Cask Finish

Launched in 2016 as the third expression in Glenlivet’s Nàdurra range, this has been finished in casks which used to hold peated whisky. Inspired by the original whisky from the distillery in the 19th century, which was peated, this has notes of vanilla, cream, and subtle smoke.

Glenlivet Nadurra Peated Review:

Nàdurra, which means natural in Gaelic, is one of the many brands owned by the drinks group The Edrington Group, who own a number of distilleries both inside and outside the country. As a brand they aim to release a variety of expression for a range of tastes and demographics. While the core line of Nàdurra is aimed at the everyday drinker, this, the third release, hearkens back to the distilleries original peated style of whisky. Small batch it will be released in limited numbers each year in each market, and will be a NAS blend of 3/4 malt to 1/4 grain.

Bottled at 46% ABV, the Glenlivet Nadurra Peated is non-chill filtered and bottled at a natural colour. As with the other Nàdurra range, is bottled at natural strength without addition of water.

The design of the bottle is distinct with a twist to show off the natural colour and a characteristic of the entire Nàdurra range. The back label gives reference to the peated style with the story of how its founder George Smith, one of the fathers of the blending revolution in the 19th century, wanted to create a distinctly different product to his competitors. This is a nod to the style of whisky which would have gone into this cask. At the bottom of the back label is a QR code which leads to a further page on the Distillery’s website.

On the label we have the named of the distillery and region, followed by the age and abv, then a large reference to the “smoky finish” and the natural colour and non-chill filtration which has become a trademark of the range. The image of a lion protects the neck with its paw over packaging, again emphasising the natural style.

In the glass the Glenlivet Nadurra Peated looks quite dark, bordering on black, with very little light passing through. There is very little legs to speak of, and it sits still with only a small movement when swirling the glass.

Glenlivet Nadurra Peated Whisky Nose: 

The nose of the Glenlivet Nadurra Peated is pleasantly sweet, with subtle chocolate and vanilla notes coming through. At the front of the nose strawberry and honey flavours are prominent. Not expecting to get much as the Nadurra range aims to be as natural as possible, the peat is very subtle. There is a mild spiciness from the peat which complements the underlying sweeter tones. With a water addition the nose remains very similar, but the underlying flavours get an added boost, with the honey getting more obvious. Water brings about a more pronounced vanilla profile at the front of the nose, and the peat becomes a lot more apparent towards the back, though is still not at all heavy or overpowering.

Glenlivet Nadurra Peated Whisky Palate:

Starting with the sweeter flavours, the honeydew, and prune flavours are prevalent in the palate and play along nicely with the backdrop of vanilla and chocolate from the nose. As the nose is predominantly sweet, so it is here. The peat soon begins to dominate, with subtle undertones of charcoal and something that reminds me of a campfire. The taste isn’t overly complex, but the interaction between the fruit, peat and other underlying flavours is very well balanced. With water the honey and the peat both gain a further boost. It becomes slightly drier with the addition of water, but overall remains very similar. There are no ash flavours or bitterness as the peat is delicate and not overpowering.

Glenlivet Nadurra Peated Whisky Finish:

The finish is long and delicious, as the blend of flavours meld together, they leave a wonderful taste in the mouth for a long period of time. From the peaty tones on the front to the sweet honeydew and berry fruits, finishing with the chocolate and vanilla.

A wonderful mouthful of flavours.

While Glenlivet Nadurra Peated is not a complex whisky in flavour profile, it is a delightful dram and a great everyday drinker. The fruit and the flavours are balanced perfectly by the smoky tones, which remain light and subtle. It is non-alarming and allows for the flavours of the distillate to shine through. This is one of my favourite drams from the range so far, the slight spiciness from the peat is lovely and plays well with the natural style of whisky. The overall sweetness of the whisky is heavy, though not sweet. The underlying peat gives it a wonderful balance. While this isn’t a whisky which will blow you away, it is an easy one to enjoy.

A good evening dram, it is tasty and reminds me slightly of a nice Dalmore, but with the subtle peppery flavour of peat. I would love to try this cask-strength, as this is a whisky which, while quite full and quite fruity, remains delicate and approachable.

I was initially drawn to this dram due to the peat, and was delighted to find an expression which included this, yet was not overpowering. That said the sweeter flavours balance it out quite nicely. I think this was the first of the Nadurra releases which I tried, and has therefore become my favourite, but that’s not to say there aren’t other great drams in the range.

This is a whisky which is lovely to drink on its own, but will equally be a great addition to anyone’s collection. If you’re looking for a single malt which emphasises the natural flavours of the distillation, this is a great choice.

I have tried this with a variety of foods, from cheese to Mexican, and have never been disappointed.

A wonderful everyday dram, with more depth than you would expect. While there are sweeter flavours, these are well complemented by the spiciness from the peat and are not overshadowed. A great dram which is worth a try if you haven’t already.

It seems more and more whiskies are coming out with this sort of packaging, but I think this one does it particularly well and it makes the whole experience a lot more exciting than a regular dram. It’s certainly not the space-age mechanism of the Ardbeg Corryvreckan, but it gets the job done, and I think is packaged quite well.

 It sits very nicely in the palate and doesn’t assault your senses. It’s a good introduction to the world of peat for someone thinking they might want to try out some proper island whiskies, but not quite ready to go into the deep end. It’s also a great everyday drinker, which sits in the sweet-medium body (on the higher end of medium) range and is easy to drink. With a sweet and peaty flavour, it’s also a great companion to food and would work perfectly with some roasted or smoked meat, keeping the flavours of the smoke, but complementing the sweeter flavours of the meat.

Written by Mark Adams

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