Nadurra is produced in batches of ex-bourbon cask whisky that aren't diluted with water before bottling. I had fairly high hopes, as I generally prefer cask strength whiskies, but the disappointment of Glenlivet's other whiskies tempered those hopes.
Many thanks to Florin for a sample of this whisky.
Glenlivet Nadurra 16 Year
Nose: malty, a touch of vanilla frosting, caramel, grass, mild oak/fresh wood, toasty, noticeable alcohol, apples/pears/berries, soap or bubblegum, corn. After adding a few drops of water, it becomes greener and grainier, the fruit slips underneath, there's more vanilla, the oak becomes more integrated, and some citrus and floral notes pop out.
Taste: rather hot - alcohol seems rather rubbery, very sweet and malty throughout, apples up front, mildly bitter oak, lightly peppery. After dilution, it becomes thicker and a bit less hot, more grainy, malt and oak integrate, vanilla peeks out from the cracks, there are citrus notes mid-palate, and some chocolate comes out at the back.
Finish: malty, mildly bitter oak, sucrose, grassy
I was honestly pretty disappointed by this whisky. I had previously tried a dram at the Highland Stillhouse and had a similarly dim impression, but wanted to give it another chance. Despite a minimum of 16 years in casks, it tastes rather young and hot, without a lot of depth or development. All the classic elements of Glenlivet - sweet malt, apples, grass, and vanilla - are present and it is more interesting than their core range, but it felt betrayed by lousy casks. While Glenlivet claims that all of the spirit was matured in first-fill casks, it tastes more like tired third- or fourth-fill casks. There is just isn't a lot of impact on the spirit despite resting in oak for the better part of two decades. It's begging for heftier doses of caramel and vanilla to lend the spirit some weight.
As is, it's not a terrible pick if you need a starter cask strength whisky - the relatively simple flavors will be easier to pick out compared to something with more complexity - but it's not going to find a place in my liquor cabinet.