I've finally made my first foray into the world of non-chill filtered, barrel strength Scotch, and I did so with the Glenlivet Nadurra. I figured, knowing the general range of the Glenlivet spectrum, this would be a great introduction to the higher-strength Scotches, and it certainly did not let me down!
Clocking in at 109.8 proof, the first thing I couldn't help but notice, even though it was entirely expected, was the alcohol burn on the nose. While I'm used to it with bourbons, and in fact have come to expect it, it was a bit of a change to get such burn while at the same time getting the malty Scotch notes as well. Once I got through the burn, the nose gave way to orange peel and lemon, mixed with some heavy vanilla flavor and baking spices.
The Nadurra has a very oily texture, definitely has legs, and it quickly coated my mouth upon the first sip. This was probably my favorite part about drinking this Scotch, as not only did it temper the burn, but with each drink my mouth and throat were coated in a sweet, honey-butter flavor that seemed to linger forever.
Up front this whiskey is more than pleasant, offering sweet flavors of lemon, orange and honey, underscored by a strong vanilla flavor. On the back end I was hit more with oak and a distinct ginger flavor.
Yet, as enjoyable as those flavors were, it was that lingering honey-butter that kept me going back for more and more. It really reminded me of what I enjoyed most about Scotches in the first place and why I started drinking them . . . only better!
Nadurra maintains the general Glenlivet profile, just a beefed up version. There's no denying which distillery this came from. However, it's definitely on the sweeter end of the spectrum and certainly more robust and complex.
This is a fantastic Scotch, one that left me a little sad when that last sip was gone. I can't wait to give other barrel strength Scotches a try. I may be onto something here!