The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve may be the whisky powerhouse’s latest expression, but it has been almost 200 years in the making and offers a fitting tribute to the original vision of Glenlivet’s founder, George Smith
The Glenlivet Scotch giant introduced the Founder’s Reserve lately in India. One of the most famous malts in the world, from Speyside distillery, the Glenlivet got its license back in 1824 before which the owner George Smith continued his dream even without a license, or so goes the legend. The Founder’s Reserve, an ode to George Smith, is an interesting blend of malt from tradition aged oak casks and malt from first-fill American oak casks. The result is a whisky that begins with rich flavours of toffee, vanilla, banana, and citrus and ends with a fruity, creamy smoothness that’s characteristic of the Glenlivet single malts. There’s no age statement for this Scotch and its appeal cuts across ages. Alex Robertson, the Global Brand Ambassador, gives us a deeper insight into the blends, evolving trends and plans up ahead.
The Luxe Café: Which are the different variants available? What makes each special?
The Glenlivet single malt Scotch whisky represents a legacy of almost 200 years. We have an aged range from 12 years old to 50 years old, each unique in its own special way. In India, people are drawn to The Glenlivet for its unrivalled flavour, the consequence of craftsmanship which in itself brings substance. The delicate yet complex, sweet and fruity personality of the single malt lies at the heart of every bottle. As you progress through our authoritative and innovative range, two things change: maturation time, in oak casks 900 feet above sea level and the type of oak casks used. The Glenlivet is renowned for its flawless, smooth and complex flavor characterized by sweet toffee, fresh pineapple and floral notes. This magnificent spirit is then matured in Scotland in American and European Oak casks which have previously held Bourbon and Sherry respectively. The American casks bring vanilla sweetness and enhance the fruity aromas in the spirit whilst European oak provides spices, dark fruits and chocolate. The spirit, the casks, the craftsmanship all have a role to play in each marque of The Glenlivet in its own unique way.
Can you tell us something about the latest variant introduced in India?
The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve, the latest addition to The Glenlivet portfolio, is a tribute to our founder George Smith, who founded The Glenlivet in 1824. The Founder’s Reserve embodies the heart and soul of The Glenlivet by paying homage to our founder’s original vision. George Smith’s vision back in 1824 was to create a definitive, smooth and fruity Speyside single malt whisky. The expression demonstrates the time-honoured and celebrated style of The Glenlivet that underpins the range, while offering a complementary twist of creaminess from the addition of First Fill American oak casks. In releasing The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve, we hope to intrigue, excite and educate single malt Scotch whisky drinkers by quenching their thirst for knowledge and in turn increase their understanding of the quality and provenance of The Glenlivet range. The launch of The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve also demonstrates our commitment to expanding the range with the offer of new taste sensations. It has delicate aromas of citrus fruit, notably sweet orange on the nose. On the palate it is sweet, fruit notes of zesty oranges and pears, with a hint of candy, toffee apples. This is a whisky which is well-balanced and exceptionally smooth. The finish is long, creamy and smooth.
What are the evolving trends in single malts and drinking habits/consumption pattern?With rapid globalization and the exposure of Indian consumers to global trends, single malts have experienced a rapid growth. Discerning consumers now seek deeper expressions and knowledge of provenance to enhance their experiences. The Glenlivet – the single malt that started it all, has been at the forefront of this category expansion, offering the malt connoisseur the widest range of single malts from the global leader TGL 12YO to the much heralded TGL Winchester Collection that are aged a minimum of 50 years. Consumers seek constant differentiation and more authentic experiences like craftsmanship from their whiskies – particularly single malts. Single malts stand for such values with provenance, age and craftsmanship being the core values of the category leading to the category growth. The Glenlivet’s history brings authenticity, its craftsmanship brings substance and ultimately is wonderful flavors and aromas entice and excite the palate.The main source of growth emerges from the existing 12YO Super Premium Blended Scotch Category, however increasingly, the Indian millennials with their global exposure are adopting single malts to their repertoire.
What difference do you see in the Indian market vis a vis others?
There is undeniably a thirst for knowledge amongst discerning single malt connoisseurs from New Delhi to Mumbai, Goa to Chennai and their passion has made The Glenlivet number one. People in India appreciate The Glenlivet for the same reasons as connoisseurs around the world.
What are your plans regarding the Indian market? What are your plans for the overall International market?
Very soon, Aberlour Single Malt Whisky is to be launched in India. Targeted at the mature malt consumer, it will be available with its 12, 16 & 18YO variants. An exception blend, aged in both sherry & traditional oak casks, it offers a distinct and uplifting malt experience for the malt connoisseurs. We plan to drive further consumer engagement with TGL through our commitment to consumer centric innovation, which is demonstrated through new expressions – Masters Distiller’s Reserve, Founder’s Reserve, Nadurra etc. coupled with engaging marketing campaigns and malt community building like The Guardians of The Glenlivet programme.
Which is your favourite Glenlivet and why?
The Glenlivet is about time and place, environment and people. There is a marque for every occasion. I was very proud to launch Founder’s Reserve in India and with a drop of water its creamy aromas came alive. I enjoy The Glenlivet in particular with Indian food, especially my favorite dish Saag Paneer. The Glenlivet 18 is a wonderful after dinner whisky. And I have a soft spot for 15 French Oak Reserve, that new oak provides beautiful structure.
[A 750ml bottle of Founder’s Reserve is available in Delhi for Rs 4,750 and in Mumbai for Rs 6,100. Also available in Bengaluru and Gurgaon.]