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Bottoms Up

I would like to express my ire toward Glenlivet Distillery. It recently released Glenlivet's Cellar Collection 1972, a special edition single malt Scotch whiskey.

This Scottish spirit has ruined me. Whereas I was once completely content with my Maker's Mark on the rocks, sampling the flavorful 1972 has forever raised the bar for my taste buds.

Located in the picturesque moors of Speyside, Scotland, the Glenlivet Distillery has gained a reputation for producing some of the best single malts in the world. The secret to its success is patience. Whereas a lesser man such as myself would immediately tap a distilled barrel and suck it dry, the folks at Glenlivet let it sit ... and sit ... and sit. In fact, at the 2002 International Spirits Challenge, the distillery took home top prize for a 1959 single malt. Anyone who can leave a liquor this tasty alone for half a century deserves a trophy.

The 1972 is no exception. It has seen much in its 34 years--from Nixon's resignation to Operation Desert Storm to the inside of my stomach. And it is this age that contributes so much to the velvety smooth texture of the spirit.

Placed in hogshead casks and left to mature, the alcohol absorbs the casks' rich, woody flavors. In addition, this long and slow gestation period gives the whiskey its unmistakable, but subtle, floral scent.

Whereas much of the whiskey I've had in the past leaves an unpleasant, almost bitter aftertaste, the lingering accents of the Glenlivet 1972 are extremely smooth, providing a sweet maltiness I have yet to taste in any other Scotch.

The Glenlivet Cellar Collection 1972 is an outstanding example of fine Scotch whiskey. But prospective buyers better be willing to make an investment, and fast. There are only 800 bottles of this stuff, and each one will run you about $700.

Technology Editor

Keith Ecker

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