These days, it’s not just through a luxury heritage watch that a man can leave his legacy. Try whisky. Glenlivet has done just that, honouring its master distiller Alan Winchester with a limited-edition bottle: The Glenlivet Winchester Collection Vintage 1967. This is the third and final instalment in the 50-year-old series.
“To have my name associated with one of the finest luxury single malts that money can buy is an honour,” said Winchester himself. The limited-edition whisky was released to honour his 40-year-old career in the brand itself, where he started out as a distillery tour guide. Fittingly, in 2018 he also won one of the industry’s highest accolades — the International Spirits Challenge (ISC) 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award. This award did not just come from being a veteran in the industry, as he is also the man behind several award-winning whiskies, including The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve and The Glenlivet Captain’s Reserve.
However, The Glenlivet Winchester Collection Vintage 1967 has long been in the making. Its dram was first filled in 1967 by the former master distiller Robert Arthur, aged for 50 years, and then bottled in June 2018 at full cask strength and is non-chill filtered. The liquid itself is a blend of malts from several rare oak casks, some being more than 52 years old. On the nose, the spirit is rich with hints of apricot jam, ripe peaches, and toasted almonds. The whisky has been aged in American oak casks, lending depth of flavour to the spirit alongside flavours of fondant orange and milk chocolate.
For the final instalment in its Winchester Collection series and retailing for a cool US$25,000, The Glenlivet had to amp up the bottle design aspect as well. Fashioned by award-winning British designer Bethan Gray, the bottle’s design takes inspiration from the hills and mist of The Glenlivet distillery in Scotland, which is reinterpreted as the Dhow patterns on the glass. Gray’s family has a history there too, as her grandfather was a forester in the Cairngorms, which is home of The Glenlivet.
But the bottle designing process doesn’t end there. It is then hand-blown by master glass blower Brodie Nairn, then hand cut, engraved, and hand-painted. It’s truly a collector’s edition, and there are only 155 bottles of it released. How’s that for a legacy?
(All images: The Glenlivet)