Thoughts on: The Glenlivet Guardians’ Chapter @theglenlivetsa @iantheguardian

The always genial Ian Logan is the international brand ambassador for The Glenlivet and goes around the world talking whisky. We last met over a coffee at Madiba’s feet in Sandton Square during Whisky Live and caught up again at The Mansefield in Scotland a few weeks ago. I asked him about The Glenlivet Guardians’ Chapter Limited Edition whisky, a newish offering from Chivas.

Ian said he enjoyed the process of having whisky lovers around the ChapterLtdEdBottleCMYKHRworld try three different expressions and vote for one for eventual bottling. Something like democracy, whisky style, I suppose. I didn’t raise the issue of the then upcoming Scottish referendum, our conversation staying on whisky, not politics. A dram later Ian continued with shepherding his group of Ambassadors from Taiwan round Elgin.

With the whisky world becoming increasingly competitive this sort of innovation is a good idea. It works not only because of clever marketing, but, as whisky lovers expect from The Glenlivet, it is a very good whisky. Like more and more new releases it has no age statement and I’m not going to hazard a guess as to its age. There are mature notes and at 48.7 ABV the whisky packs, what I’ll call, a gentlemanly punch. Perhaps more chocolate and spice than the average Glenlivet, if there is such an animal, the whisky delivers enough complexity for an after sunset drink, even a nightcap, on a warmish evening.

It is worth looking at and adding to your collection, especially if you are a fan of limited editions.

Price: at around R 1 200 it is fair value, I suppose, for a limited edition, certainly better than the more expensive Alpha, but the 18 year old Glenlivet for about R 1000 or 21 year old at R 1700 are very good alternatives. The Glenlivet 12 should be in every whisky lover’s collection, superb at R 400.

Here is the press release giving more info.


Johannesburg, South Africa. – The global whisky community have spoken. The votes have been counted. The results are in and the winner has made its way to South Africa.

That’s right! The long awaited The Glenlivet Guardian Chapter limited edition single Scottish malt is here after thousands of whisky lovers across 37 countries (including South Africa) voted to select the Guardian Chapter Limited Edition crafted just the way they like it. The winning selection is the “Exotic expression” as the distillery reached out to its loyal followers.

After votes were counted, this first crowd-sourced The Glenlivet single malt was bottled and distributed in limited quantities to countries around the globe.

The search to find a winning expression began in September 2013. Three expressions (called Exotic, Classic and Revival) were handpicked for a global tasting tour where admirers sampled and voted for their favourite. The expressions were selected to challenge drinkers, provoking debate over which would become the first single malt in the distillery’s 190-year history they could influence the taste of.  

A series of special evenings in London, New York and Mumbai were staged. Labelled the ‘Expression Sessions’, they were designed to stimulate the senses with a carefully blended mix of speakers, covering topics inspired by each whisky expression. South Africans got their opportunity to taste the 3 variants at the annual FNB Whiskey Live Festival last year.

The winning “exotic” single malt was created using a subtle mixture of casks including Hogsheads and American oak barrels with the addition of a proportion of whisky from Spanish ex-sherry butts to provide a rich, exotic twist. The resulting “The Guardians’ Chapter” bottling will display the signature fruitiness of The Glenlivet and a delightful addition of rich, warm spicy notes. Rich and indulgent on the nose, it will captivate with an aroma of moist fruitcake and sweet, candied apple, balanced with the tang of orange marmalade.   The taste will be an alluring combination of juicy raisins with an undertone of dark chocolate orange zestiness, well-balanced with the subtle warmth of spice complimenting a delightful long and slightly dry finish.

Mandla Holomisa, brand manager for Glenlivet SA, says: “We at Glenlivet feel very proud to have been part of a global challenge that has given us this limited edition single malt blend, as desired by our whisky lovers. We are pleased with the enthusiastic response we’ve received, especially in South Africa.”



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The Glenlivet Single Malt Whisky is part of Pernod Ricard.

Enjoy responsibly, not for sale to persons under the age of 18.