The Glenlivet whisky got its license to distil malt whisky in 1824 we all know that, since then a lot of whisky has been flowing and the Glenivet has become the #1 single malt whisky brand worldwide (as for 2014) passing the Glendiffich recently. The Glenlivet malt has been present in Israel for quite some time, but as it seems the Israeli Importer has decided to boost sales and to invest more in the brand, which is always a welcome ideas among us whisky fans. I was really happy to hear that the Glenlivet is going to open a concept shop in the heart of Tel Aviv, and attended the launch event last week. This is the very first concept store of the kind in Israel , located at Nahalat Binyamin street (which is a trendy location in the center of Tel aviv, nearby many fashionable restaurants and bars. The store itself is quite big, and consists of a main hall, and an open air veranda for those who want to sit, and enjoy a smoke while sipping their whisky.
I must say I was very impressed with the decoration and the design of the place, lavish, wooden and elegant space, with sofas, chairs, and a bar,as well as whisky books and a very nice presentation of the Glenlivet range available in Israel. In addition to the core range (12,15,18, 21,25) which you can buy (and sample in Glencairn glasses per dram) there are two exclusive expressions you can buy / taste at the shop unvabailbe elsewhere: The Glenlivet Guardian’s Chapter (a sherry centric vatting of casks at 48.7% abv – Priced at 400 NIS – € 91) a single cask called “Pristinus” aged for 15 , bottled at Cask strength, of which 609 were bottled, 109 of which are sold locally at the shop (for 1,300 NIS – ~ €300). [As for pricing, i was a bit disappointed since they are higher then comparable priced abroad and with whisky Tax on the decrease there is no reason the bottles could be priced better..], nonetheless the shop looks faboulous , and the only downside is that it’s going to be open until December. so if you’re a whisky fan and happen to be in Tel aviv, rush on and enjoy a few drams while seated in those comfy couches, really a splendid spot.
We kicked off the evening with a nice cocktail based on the 12 year old and two types of bitter, syrup and maybe other stuff too (I was not really paying attention as the barmen prepared it), very nice to start things up. Then after a brief introduction by Rani Cohen from Temp (the Importer), we proceeded on tasting a few expressions including the 15, 16 Nadurra (CS), and the Guardians chapter. jolly nice stuff. I’ve not had the Guardian’s before, but as you can expect, it’s rather sweet, sherried, and tofee’d, with a lot of that werthers original candy sweetness going on, as well as the dried fruit, and spices (tasting notes in another post). I was more interested to try the single cask 15 year old, as those are quite scarce when it comes to OB Glenlivet, and I must say i was not disappointed.
The Glenlivet 15 yo single cask “Pristinus”, 58.4% abv ,609 btl, Refill sherry butt, 1,400 NIS (EUR 300)
Nose: Vanilla and coconut shards. Peach and a hint of sour sultana. Candied Orange peel, damp wood and Dunnage warehouses.
Palate: strong bite with sweet peppery entry. Yobs of wood and vanilla. Banana bread and candied pineapple, ginger in syrup.
Finish: warming , with wood spice and a lingering sweetness.
Although this whisky comes from a refill sherry Butt, I was getting much more ex-Bourbon kind of flavours and aromas, and it well may have been quite an inactive sherry butt, at any rate this is a very good whisky, i would have loved to own, if it only were well priced. As rare as single cask Glenlivet casks are (you can find some, although not a lot), 300 Euro for a 15 year old whisky is way too much, especially as you can find similar bottled for 100 euro less in other countries. I was discussing this with another friend who attended the event,he was not as convinced as I was claiming it was a different kind of Nadurra. While he’s not totally wrong, I think this is marginally better than the regular Nadurra, richer and sweeter with not as much coconut and banana.
Kudus to Tempo Israel for creating a place like that dedicated to good whisky. Hopefully others will do the same. I would love to see the shop being open beyond December, serving as a meeting place for people that value good whisky and good atmosphere.
The Glenlivet Concept Store, 48 Nahalat Binyamin street , Tel Aviv
Opening hours: (Sun-Thur 10:00-23:00, Friday : 10:00-14:00, Sat – end of Shabbat – 23:00)
All images Photo credit : Oded Smadar