The Glenlivet 70 Year Old
The Glenlivet 70 Year Old

World’s oldest whisky on auction

By Time of article published Oct 12, 2011

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Two 200 ml bottles of the world’s oldest single malt whisky, The Glenlivet 70 Year Old, will not only be making their first appearance in South Africa at the FNB Whisky Live Festival 2011, but will be available to purchase through a Tops at Spar auction during the Festival.

All proceedswill be donated to the Foundation for Alcohol Related Research (FARR).

Described as a “stupendous”, “smooth” and “voluptuous” single malt, and released under Gordon & MacPhail’s Generations label, The Glenlivet 70 Year Old is the sister to the Mortlach 70 Year Old, which was auctioned at the 2010 FNB Whisky Live Festival. The R15 000 raised was donated to FARR.

“Only a limited number of bottles of The Glenlivet 70 Year Old will be made available for sale to whisky connoisseurs the world over, so we are particularly excited that Tops at Spar has sourced two bottles of this precious liquid gold for auction,” says Sian Neubert, co-organiser of the FNB Whisky Live Festival.

This cask of The Glenlivet was laid down on 3 February 1940, at the height of the Battle of Britain. The whisky was matured in a First Fill Sherry Butt, and bottled at cask strength (45.9% ABV). Its deep amber colour, flecked with tawny lights introduces its rich aromas: the first aroma of an old cocktail cabinet, with sherry notes predominating; polished wood; soft leather and a trace of candle wax. Behind this are fruity notes, lightly baked apples and fresh orange juice – with just a thread of smoke or ash in the distance. The taste: sweetish to start, then savoury, followed by a hint of salt. The finish is long, with a faint smokiness in the aftertaste.

The single malt is beautifully presented in a tear-shaped hand-blown crystal decanter, with an elegant British Hallmarked silver stopper. The decanter nestles in a sterling silver base and is framed in a handmade box, crafted in Scotland using Scottish Elm. Each bottle of The 700ml decanters of Glenlivet 70 Year Old retails for a recommended retail price of £13,000, while a limited number of 200ml decanters will also be available at a recommended retail price of £3,200 in the United Kingdom.

According to Jess Tivers, Group Promotions & Advertising – Liquor at Tops at Spar: “Gordon & MacPhail is internationally renowned as the custodian of the oldest and rarest single malts, and its Generations label, of which The Glenlivet 70 Year Old is a part of, is a wonderful way of bringing these fine whiskies to the attention of the South African market.

“The larger bottles will undoubtedly be snapped up by collectors on their own or as part of the limited edition set called “Private Collection: Glenlivet Decades”, which contains a Glenlivet whisky from each of the decades from the 1950s to the 1990s,” Tivers adds.

“The smaller bottles are meant for those who want something unique to either share or keep to themselves for special occasions. And at this year’s festival, two visitors will have a chance to walk away with two of the 200 ml bottles - if the price is right, and all for a good cause.”

Karen Chaloner, co-organiser of the FNB Whisky Live Festival, adds that they are absolutely delighted that Tops at Spar has managed to secure such a unique whisky to raise funds for FARR.

The Foundation, an independent, non-governmental organisation committed to the prevention of foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) in South Africa, is internationally recognised as a world leader in the field of scientific and medical research related to FAS. FAS is the most common preventable cause of mental retardation in the world.

“The FNB Whisky Live Festival has supported FARR since the Festival’s inception. It was an easy choice when we were identifying a way to give back to the community, considering the implications and prevalence of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome in South Africa,” added Neubert.

“One hundred percent of the proceeds of the silent auction will be donated to FARR and the winners of the auction will both be able to savour the moment of purchasing a bottle of The Glenlivet 70 Year Old, knowing that their investment is supporting a very worthy cause,” Neubert says.

The Festival, which remains the largest, liveliest and most entertaining whisky show of its kind in the world, will run at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 2 to 4 November 2011, and at the Sandton Convention Centre from 9 to 11 November 2011.

The FNB Whisky Live Festival promotes responsible drinking. No persons under the age of 18 years old will be allowed into the Tasting Hall. Designated driver tickets are available with discounted food vouchers and a bottle of Valpré mineral water included in the ticket price. Various chauffeur drive services and drive responsibly initiatives will be on hand to ensure that everyone in your party is able to have a good time and a safe journey home. Part of the ticket proceeds will continue to be donated to The Foundation for Alcohol Related Research.

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