Glenlivet ages whisky in reconstructed casks

Chivas Brothers has launched The Glenlivet Caskmakers exclusively for global travel retail (GTR), alongside releases for Ballantine’s and Royal Salute.

The Glenlivet Caskmakers is a single malt expression aged in reconstructed casks, created by combining two casks to create a new type of barrel.

The hybrid casks, which unite ex-Spanish Sherry and charred European oak barrels, have been developed by The Glenlivet in collaboration with master coopers in Jerez, Spain.

“As we continue to celebrate our 200-year milestone, The Glenlivet Caskmakers embodies our commitment to pushing the boundaries of cask craftmanship in whisky making,” said Kevin Balmforth, The Glenlivet cask master.

“This exceptional release, born from harnessing a complex new technique, not only honours our rich history but showcases our relentless drive towards innovation and excellence. Integrating this method of cask creation elevates the complexity of the whisky’s flavour profile and represents our dedication to constantly exciting whisky connoisseurs around the globe.” 

The resulting whisky reveals notes of ripe orchard fruits, fresh honey, warming spices and hints of charred pineapple.

Bottled at 40% ABV, Caskmakers will be available exclusively in selected duty free stores from May 2024, with a suggested retail price of US$225 (€210).

In February 2024, the distillery released its first single malt aged in bespoke casks, The Glenlivet Rum and Bourbon Fusion Cask Selection.

A trio of releases

Accompanying the launch, Chivas Brothers has released a series from Ballantine’s called Golden Hour, with each expression offering a twist on the blended Scotch brand’s 23-year-old whisky through different French oak cask finishes.

The inaugural release is finished in ex-Cognac casks – a first for Ballantine’s. It is bottled at 40% ABVS and will be available to purchase at selected Asia Pacific airports for US$279.

Chivas also launched Royal Salute’s first-ever vintage release, which will be part of a wider series of vintage blends. As with the Golden Hour series, the collection will pay tribute to the Royal Salute’s flagship whisky, its 21 Year Old Signature Blend.

Royal Salute’s master blender Sandy Hyslop said: “This remarkable new series is a true embodiment of Royal Salute’s commitment to craftsmanship and heritage. This is Royal Salute’s first-ever vintage release, so to mark the occasion, for the first volume, I wanted to create a blend that truly heroes the character of our 21 Year Old Signature Blend, that has been loved across the world for the past 70 years.

“Working with high-aged whiskies demands meticulous attention and precision, so using whiskies laid down in casks in a single year was an additional layer of complexity but an incredibly exciting challenge.”

Bottled at 40% ABV, The Royal Salute 21 Year Old Vintage Blend 2002 Release has an RRP of US$234 and is available exclusively in GTR.

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