Glenlivet Nadurra Batch 0814D Review

Glenlivet Nadurra Batch 0814DIMG_2359

55.7% abv

Score:  91/100


I remarked at one point how this malt seemed to be an underappreciated darling in the wider whisky world.  Fast forward to the present and that seems to be far from the case.  There is a very loyal – and ever-growing – following for this cask strength Glenlivet.  Past Nadurra reviews are some of the most popular on this site and the comment sections beneath still maintain momentum long after the fact.  Ergo, it seemed apropos to tackle another batch (before they all disappear in favour of the NAS offerings)

I recently came across this bottle for under $80 locally (fair price, if you know the lay of the land in terms of how far our dollar stretches lately).  Unfortunately most of the Nadurra I see on the shelves nowadays is one of the dodgy NAS versions the brand has launched as a replacement for this fairly consistent (and generally high quality) 16 year old.  I believe – and please correct me if I’m wrong – that the 16 year Nadurra is on its way out in favour of the smokescreen malts just mentioned.  A shame, and nearly as big a botch on the ‘Livet name as the recent Cipher and Alpha.  But let’s not trip down that rabbit hole here.

Happy to report that Batch 0814D holds to the high standards established under this banner.  The malt is not only meticulously crafted, but lands right in an absolutely gorgeous sweet spot of soft fruits and creamy character.  I’m not quite as enamoured with Nadurra as some of the regular readers here on ATW who horde the stuff, but this is one batch I will likely grab an extra bottle or two of before it goes the way of the dodo and mastodon.

Nose:  Huge orange top note and soft mixed fruit.  Vanilla and custard.  Creamsicles.  Hot cross buns.  A smear of jam.  Very fresh, fruity and appealing.  Roman nougat.  Very dessert-like.  Caramelized pineapple with pepper.

Palate:  Awww, hell yeah.  There’s that orange again.  More fruit.  And more.  There’s an oakiness behind it too.  Like sucking the stick of a creamsicle after the ice cream is gone.  Quite some vanilla.  Ginger.  Honey candy straws.  Chewy and oily.  A very thick drink.

Thoughts:  Nudging on into tropical territory.  I love this whisky.  Shows well on any occasion.


 – Images & Words:  Curt

26 thoughts on “Glenlivet Nadurra Batch 0814D Review

  1. Robett

    Thanks for the review! I will seriously miss this whisky when I finish the 3 1/2 bottles I have left. Have the 10/13 one open now and only having a dram every few days to make it last. I’m still in the mode of preferring bourbon aged whiskies, so running through Oak Cross and Glenmo10 as my regulars, with Laphroaig 15 and Cairdeas 2014 and Ardbeg Auriverdes my more heavily flavored options. Off sherried ones, partly due to the much higher cost. Maybe in a few years Glenlivet will do a “Laphroaig” and bring back this jewel.

    You might consider some more bourbon reviews as the price to value ratio is so good right now. As you liked the Rare Breed, you should really try to get the Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel. It is reeeeely good and not that expensive. And the Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is “to die for”.

      1. Robett

        Well, I don’t get Amrut or many indies, but do get the good bourbons. The ECBP is only released in batches every 3 months and sells out fast here, so you’ll probably never see it. The RRSB though should be potentially available as its a standard Wild Turkey release. It’s a smoother version of WT and is very enjoyable. Otherwise just get the WR rare Breed, as its also really good. Here these are priced $45, $42 and $40. Great buys!

        1. skeptic

          RRSB isn’t listed here. I have tasted a couple of batches of ECBP. Fantastic stuff. But my favourite bourbon ever is Georgel T Stagg 2010 release. That was a standout for an outstanding bourbon.

          1. Robett

            I’ve had bottles of batches 4, 5, 6, 8, and now 11 (69.7% ABV). The best of those was easily batch 6, which was 70.1%. I still have a bottle of this stashed. One website had several people sit down and test 1-8, and they also said 6 was the best. It is epic bourbon.

            Sorry the RRSB is not available, but at least you get free healthcare!

          2. David

            It’s not free. We have a deficit my kids will be paying down. Plus as a doctor I’m paying in fee cuts for the excesses of my government (not willingly…the court challenge is ongoing)…

            I am not so familiar with batch numbers but I have one at 69.9% and another at 70.1% (the 6?). I’ve tasted the latter from a sample and found it to be excellent, just as I have enjoyed a sample at 67.8%.

            If the LCBO would carry it I would buy a few (as long as the price was fair). Almost 70% and aged 12 years, I would expect quality, and it delivers.

    1. Jeff

      Bourbon reviews might be interesting, and I like the recent Elijah Craig 12 and Knob Creek 9 offerings, but I haven’t found much variation in the profiles of bourbons as a whole. I admittedly haven’t tried all that much bourbon in the grand scheme of things, but I find the situation so far sort of like trying half a dozen Glenfiddich expressions – I like some more than others, but I find them far more the same than different.

      1. David

        Interesting you mention the EC12 and KC 9 specifically, as those are being discontinued and moving to NAS.

        There can be tremendous variations between bourbons. Even within Beam, Booker’s and Baker’s, the most they have in common is the letter B.

        Four Roses single barrel is very different from Knob Creek Single barrel.

        I would put the analogy more like the differences between Glenlivet, glenfiddich and maybe Glenmorangie. All similarly produced with some variation.

        1. Jeff

          Maybe I’m bourbon tone deaf, but I wish I could find something – that I could afford – that has the variation shown between fiddich and glenmo. Being all fairly young and without the wider variety available to scotch through casking and peating, I just haven’t seen it yet.

          1. David

            There’s actually a lot of variation in the way casks are prepared, with different toasting and charing levels, or both.

            The way casks are air dried or kilned has an effect.

            The mashbills of bourbons, even within families, can be very different. Comparing something like Basil Hayden’s to Booker’s, both Beam products, will make this clear. I realize that BH is NAS, and full disclosure, I’ve never bought a bottle.

            As to age, remember that most bourbons are matured in hot conditions, and with new wood, so a 8-12 year old is quite mature compared to a Scotch of the same age.

            Although my primary whisky of choice is single malt, I am gaining a growing appreciation for bourbons. I would welcome the opportunity tointroduce you to a flight of 3-4 (Booker’s , Four roses SB and Elijah Craig would be good examples) that are all excellent but different.

          2. Chris 1

            Me too, Jeff. I was in Oregon last week visiting in-laws. My brother in law was given a bottle of Blanton’s Original Single Barrel which we all dutifully tried. To me it tasted like all the other Bourbons I have tried, which admittedly is not many. Too sweet, too oaky, too vanilla-y. Suffice to say I went right back to the bottle of Ardbeg 10 I picked up at the duty free on the way down.

          3. David

            Yeah, but if you were a bourbon fan and someone gave you a bottle of Glenfiddich 12 you’d probably run back to your bottle of Booker’s in just the same way.

            Entry level stuff is fine for the complete whisky novice but if you are an enjoyer of Ardbeg 10 you should probably try something a little more “advanced”…

          4. Chris 1

            Good point, David. What would you suggest as a good entry. I was under the impression that the Blanton’s single barrel was a good one. Didn’t realize it was entry level. Apparently it wasn’t cheap either.

          5. David

            I’m certainly no bourbon expert but I would go close to CS if I were starting. Good examples of Beamproducts would be Old Grand Dad 114, Knob Creek single Barrel 9 YO, and Booker’s Bourbon (my favourite of the line). Four Roses single Barrel is another good one. Elijah Craig 12 YO, or better, the barrel Proof that will knock you over at around 70%.

            many of these are readily available in different parts of North America.

            If you want to go even more high end, Abraham Bowman, George T. Stagg and William Larue Weller are essentially unobtainable. LCBO gets a teaspoonful of the latter 2 and hold a lottery.

          6. Jeff

            I don’t doubt that the CS whiskies recommended are a step up, but I find that, just like sherry and peat bombs, CS has its own appeal that tends to transcend other aspects of profile (there are people who would like Nadurra, for example, who wouldn’t find anything nice to say about the 12 at 40%).

            Then again, given the findings in the recent study from New Zealand, I’m seriously considering hanging it all up anyway.


          7. Robert

            Yeah, alcohol may increase my risk of cancer, but it lessens my chance of stroke. Swimming also raises the risk of drowning and playing a pickup game of basketball or jogging both raise the risk of heart attack. Going to the mall raises the risk of being shot by a psycho. I’ll take my chances with enjoying 2 ounces of quality whisky daily, as if I do that I won’t be doing those other deadly activities I mentioned above.

          8. Veritas

            Well, that’s a shocker…

            I clicked on the link to the article itself… It’s a meta-analysis of meta-analyses, basically someone read articles that pulled together data from different studies and put together a conclusion. Not nearly as useful as a large cohort study. There are a few such, like the National Health Study in UK and Framingham in the US. I would have to go to the literature and look to see if there was something ominous there but I don’t have time today.

            I don’t think anyone doubts the potential of alcohol to cause health problems and I’ve read robust evidence around oesophageal cancer, but (as even this article acknowledges), there is a dose-dependent risk.

            I would love to drink 2 oz of scotch a day. Sure, at a tasting I might have quite a few small servings, but those happen 2-3 times a year tops. But as much as I love the smell and taste of scotch, I have neither the time or opportunity to have it every day, nor the inclination to damage my liver or whatever.

            Actually, the fact that I can’t have it every day makes it all the more special when I do.

            건배 !

  2. Brent

    Thanks for the review. I may well be among the worst of the hoarders simply because there wasn’t all that much left to buy locally that was a good value and had an age statement on it. I stumbled on this one only at Christmas of last year (2015) as I bought a bottle for a buddy for Christmas and thought I’d give it a wing too. $80 for a 16 year old whisky? Why not.

    Unlike many here I’m not overly fond of the Islay persuasion (all things in time) and am a very dedicated sherry head. I usually have three very active bottles open at a time but was getting tired of all being sherried. This was a monster blessing for me and frankly renewed my love for sherried whiskies simply by providing a fairly substantial difference in approach. And again, that value thing. IMO this is a very good value whisky and for those like me who tend to be on a little lesser budget than some it’s downright cheap for Canada, let alone for a 16 year old whisky.

    Is it a 91? I dunno, I sure like it, but I kinda get wound up over things like Cragganmore 12 sometimes too, so I don’t think my buds are fully evolved/educated yet. It’s a very good whisky that is a very good value and yes indeed, it is disappearing in favor of the NAS Nadurra offerings. Big, big boo on that to Glenlivet. Ah well, as with all things NAS I’ll simply look for another viable option from another distiller. Glenlivet no likey my sheckles, they no have to take them.

      1. Brent

        No I am not. Sorry for any confusion. Typically I drink sherried whiskies, that is what dominates my collection. This to me is an ideal contrast and why I fell in love with it. I now typically have two bottles open at any given time, one is a sherried whisky and one is typically a bourbon cask. All the bottles of Nadurra I have are 0814D. I have eight of them 🙂

  3. Robert

    To cover several items mentioned above:
    1) Although Nadurra 16 is easily the best Glenlivet and the only whisky they put out that I will buy, the 12 has always been quite decent. I used to buy it before I found Glenmorangie 10.
    2) Yes, bourbon is somewhat limited in profile, due to the regulations on casks, etc. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t great bourbons out there that have varied taste profiles. Comparing bourbons is like comparing sherried scotches. Does one avoid sherried scotches since they are limited in variety?
    3) I think the Glenfiddich to Glenmorangie comparison is valid. I won’t touch Glenfiddich (Jack Daniels), will drink some Glenlivet (Beam) and love pretty much all Glenmorangie (Wild Turkey and Heaven Hill).
    4) NAS works well with bourbon. As you get to 12 YO bourbon it starts to smooth out and become more complex with much longer finishes, but does get a bit oaky. Blending it with younger bourbon lessens the oakiness and adds a bit more bite, but keeps most of the benefits of the older bourbon. You see that with Rare Breed, which contains 6, 8 and 12 YO juice. Nadurra NAS blows as it tastes like 100% young whisky.

    1. Jeff

      1) Fair enough in terms of what’s currently widely available, but I thought the now sadly gone Nadurra Triumph was better, although only 48% at 18 years.

      2) Pretty much what I was getting at, although with different ages, types of oak and sherries, I’ve found more variety in sherried scotch than in bourbon. It’s not really a case of avoiding either bourbon or sherried whisky although, the more narrow the overall profile, the more it becomes a hit or miss thing in terms of appeal.

      3) Fair enough, although point 2 has a bearing on it.

      4) Although multivintaging can be of benefit to whisky, NAS isn’t the same as multivintaging and multivintaging isn’t a defense for NAS; casks of different ages have been combined for quite some time. Somehow the differences produced through age are the very foundation of multivintaging, but age information itself is “irrelevant” from the perspective of an industry uninterested in reforming labeling law. Let’s face it: it’s not “all the old whisky in there” that “ruins” age statements, it’s the young whisky that nobody wants to talk about. It’s that “teaspoon” of 6 or 8 that makes that tired old 20 or 30 into a great whisky, but prices don’t (yet) reflect products that are supposedly 90% 20 or 30? Give me that “inferior” 20 or 30 at prices below that of its “improved” NAS cousin and I’ll let you know what I think about relative quality.

  4. David

    Well Hello Calgary!

    Back here on my annual whisky pilgrimage (oops, I mean family visit) and we stopped in a small shop near my in-laws. On the shelf stood 2 bottles of this very batch at a tax included price of $79!

    16 YO, Cask Strength, well-recommended, less than $80 a bottle.

    I’m afraid to say that the store is now sold out of this expression…

    Thanks Curt for putting this on my radar in July. I made sure to look out for it.

    Now, if I could only find a lingering bottle of Bruichladdich “the laddie classic ed 01”

  5. Robert

    Have one dram left in one bottle with another bottle stashed away, along with a bottle of the 18 YO Triumph version. I just realized I need to start looking for something to replace it. Not sure where I can find anything close to this whisky. Any suggestions? (BTW, I love this whisky!). Maybe Glenlivet 15, which I haven’t tried in many, many years (at a bar during a party, so I remember nothing specific).

    1. David

      You might consider Amrut unpeated cask strength or a single barrel (bourbon) bottling.

      Or find the 3 bottles that are still out there.

  6. Robert

    Still don’t get Amrut here, so forget that one. I am still looking for stray bottles, as I found two a few months back for $85. Maybe Balvenie 12 SB? I do like it and the price is similar, but totally different taste.


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