Tasting Glenlivet Alpha (and learning about Lilt)


A riddle wrapped up in an enigma – I can’t think of a better way to describe this whisky. Would you agree?

I’m an Israeli, born and bred and until two days ago I had never heard about the wonderful (or not quite so) soft drink by the name of Lilt. As it happens i was a wee kid growing up in Israel in the 80’s and 90’s and have not tasted this one, but as soon as i was twitting about tasting the Alpha, I immediately got a reply about the Liltish character it possesses. We learn new things every day, don’t we?

heaps of words, tweet, and FB statuses were written about the Alpha. Some people were rather vexed by it, being sold at 100 quid for a NAS, having no details about cask, age,etc. I think that made it even more interesting and if you’re the Glenlivet PR guy, you’re probably happy. Having said that, all stocks were snatched in no time from the shelves (not unexpectedly). I should think most of those buying it did it mainly as a speculation, and we shall see quite a lot of Alphas being sold on the secondary market after June 3rd when master distiller Alan Winchester reveals all via a global broadcast to The Glenlivet fans on the brand’s website and Facebook page. So, how good is it, what is it? How does it compare to other Glenlivet expressions?

The Glenlivet Alpha, NAS, 50% abv , £97.13 (sold out)the-glenlivet-alpha-whisky

Nose: I Can’t say it’s got Lilt (since i have nothing to compare it to) but I’d say it’s very interesting and quite tropical. Coconut , pineapple. Papaya. Sweet vanilla custard. Gentle perfumed oak. White pepper. Very fragrant, and quite nice. I would not have guessed it being so fruity (don’t know why not, actually, but somehow i thought it would be more woody and with less exotics) – a rather nice surprise.

Palate: Continuing the tropical party. Big coconut, vanilla and creamy feeling all over. Lovely mouth feel. Sweet and delicious. Sweet dough. Grapefruit and lovely citrus too on another layer.

Finish : spice. Oak and lush tropical fruit: pineapple. Grapefruit too.

This is a well made dram, not sure what’s inside, but it’s yummy in every way. Would I pay 100 quid for it? Probably not. Not just because It’s a mystery, but also because I do believe I can find other drams at the same price point which I prefer.But I can understand those buying it out of curiosity, or those who dig the very sexy black bottle, It’s a free economy after all. Like it or not, they are all gone, and from the Glenlivet point of view this has been a great PR success. no doubt.

Hat off.

Score: 88/100

Official sample was provided by the Glenlivet

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