The longer I continue my journey of whisky discovery, the more I realise just how much I love a good, bright, fresh, tropical fruit laden dram. I definitely enjoy something peaty, and also a dram with a sherry influence, but it is always those notes of big, bold Caribbean flavours that really rock my banana boat.
Recently, I had the opportunity to try the new release from The Glenlivet called Alpha as part of a Tweet tasting organised by The Whisky Wire‘s Steve Rush. And let me tell you, it definitely ticked the boxes on the tropical fruit scale.
But first, a bit of background. The Alpha has made noise in the last couple of weeks because it was released by The Glenlivet in a black bottle, with no details of age or casks used, only that it was bottled at a high 50% ABV. The company has created a campaign called Master Your Senses based around getting people to use their senses more to analyse what they’re experiencing in whisky. Consumers are invited to comment and share their thoughts on the dram, using the hashtag #alpha on Twitter or through the Facebook page. On the 6 June, master distiller Alan Winchester will reveal all about the whisky in a video broadcast.
Interestingly, however, the whisky was put on sale (and is sold out, so far as I can tell in the UK) at £100 – which is quite a high price, many might say, for a liquid which no one knows much about. Still, enough people had their interest piqued to make it fly off the shelves.
And after tasting a sample of this release, all I can say is the hype is worth it. Here’s what I thought (in tweet form so you see how my perceptions unfolded):
Tweet #2: PINEAPPLE!
Tweet #3: Very fruity, juicy nose. Sticking with pineapple to start, w something marzipanny & fairgroundy (cotton candy maybe?)
Tweet #4: Then something floral – fresh cut flower stems springs to mind. Fresh lilies wading in a tin of pineapple juice.
Tweet #5: Also on the nose, a few wine gums too.
Tweet #6: #alpha palate: chewing dried mango in an Indian garden in summer while someone smokes a cigar nearby.
Tweet #7: How is this 50% ABV? #delicatepalatedance
Tweet #8: A nice gingery spice [on the finish] for me but still so subtle!
In short, this was a whopper of a whisky. All I can say is bravo Glenlivet team, bravo!