The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2016

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42  /  the tasting panel  /  july 2016 WHAT WE'RE DRINKING On the Right Track THE GLENLIVET PAYS TRIBUTE TO ITS PULLMAN CAR PAST WITH A NEW LIMITED-EDITION TRIO by Amy Zavatto 42 /  the tasting panel / july 2016 I t kind of feels like an old-fashioned luxury railcar inside Manhattan's downtown cocktail denizen, Orient Express, with its window-pane wall menus and high shelves demurely stocked with antique suitcases and other vintage travel ephemera. It was, indeed, the perfect spot for The Glenlivet to launch its new, limited-edition Pullman Train single-cask collection with a private tasting on May 18. But The Glenlivet has always believed that fine whisky should make you feel like you're on a bit of a custom journey. It is, after all, part and parcel to the brand's very history. For the first single-cask Scotch whisky series that The Glenlivet has ever released exclusively to the United States, Master Distiller Alan Winchester chose three distinct casks to mark the occasion to celebrate The Glenlivet's once singular presence as the only whisky served on the luxurious Pullman club cars during travel between the East Coast and the Midwest. "Pullman was the epitome of luxury travel in the late 19th and early 20th centuries," said host and The Glenlivet Brand Ambassador Josh Gelfand. "The club cars were exclusively for bespoke dining and drinking." The three cask-strength whiskies are named for different aspects of the Pullman trains' glorious history. Named for the famed route that ran 960 swift miles between Grand Central Terminal in New York and Lasalle Street Station in Chicago, the Water Level Route (SRP $350) spends 14 years in the wood of ex–American bourbon casks. Just shy of 60% ABV, the liquid contained in the 321 available bottles is rich and luscious with notes of vanilla bean, nectarine, spice and nougat. The Twentieth Century Limited (SRP $350) is named for the train line that ran on that famed Water Route, and also became known as the origin of the famous phrase "the red carpet treatment," as riders were treated to an actual red carpet rolled out upon boarding and disembarking. It's a whisky fit for such an extravagance. Here, the 57.73% ABV spirit also lingers for 14 years, but in this case the home is first fill ex-Sherry butts made of European oak (mostly Spanish, says Gelfand), offering up gor- geous aromatics and flavors of ginger, rosemary, pear and apple. About 588 bottles are available. The third and final limited edition release is the Club Car (SRP $350), the place where The Glenlivet once held court as the only whisky aboard. The 618 bottles are the result of whisky that spent 18 years in Sherry cask. At 56.34% ABV, even just a tiny drop of water releases the full effect of the chewy, dried fig and pear qualities here, along with notes of delec- table caramelized sugar, fresh toasted pecans and shortbread. The trio launched to markets in New York, Illinois, California, Texas and Florida. And at such limited quantities, the line is a little like its namesake: Catch them while you can, because once they leave the station, they're gone. The Glenlivet is imported by Pernod Ricard USA.

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