I received a midweek surprise in the form of an email from the Glenlivet Guardians - a members-only group that provides access in the form of private tastings and limited edition releases. But no fear - simply sign up - and you'll be part of that "exclusive" members-only club.
So after receiving six free tickets to a Scotch tasting of The Glenlivet 12, 15, and 18, I rounded up the troops and ventured out to Fishtown and 2424 Studios.
The cavernous space was host to a bevy of Scotch enthusiasts (or free-loading drinkers!).
Glenlivet maintains that the Guardians are a gentlemanly bunch, so there were attempts to educate on style.
There were also hors d'oeuvres being passed around, including stuffed chicken, beef rolls, empanadas, and pumpkin cheesecake - to name a few. Appreciated to be sure, but I was there for the Scotch.
There was an open bar, providing tastings of The Glenlivet 12 - easily my go-to drink from my own bar.
And after about half an hour of mingling, eating and drinking, it was time for a lesson in Scotch from a certified Master of Scotch - handlebar and all.
The main sticking point? Drink Scotch however you like it! I prefer mine neat with the occasional drop of water to open it up, but if you'd like a rock or two, all the more power to you!
We were given four containers filled with scents to engage our senses - floral, fruity, smoky, and peaty.
But enough with the lessons - it was time to taste The Glenlivet 12, 15, and 18.
The 12 has a herbal nose that isn't too sweet. On the palate, you've got notes of vanilla and spice, with a finish that ends sweet. Easy drinking. The 15 has a nose that's sweeter, with the palate providing some wood and burn. The finish has a bit of peat and fruit. Better than the 12 in that it offers some wood notes. The 18 offers a bit more ABV thanks to the more pronounced aging. The body is smoother and coats the tongue, with a melange of fruit, honey, and smoke. A few drops of water help to open it up the sherry notes, with a medium finish that lingers nicely.
And with a parting gift of Glenlivet pocket squares, the evening came to an end.
If you have any interest in whiskey, and certainly Scotch, you'd be remiss if you didn't sign up for the Glenlivet Guardians. You'll have access to future vertical flight tastings and for those that are relativel novices, you'll learn more than enough to talk whiskey with your friends. Sláinte!