A century or so ago, the train was the most luxurious way to travel. Men donned their best suits and hats for the ride; the journey itself was an adventure. The Pullman Company was the paragon of luxury during this golden age of rail travel. The Glenlivet’s historical ties to the Pullman Company, are due in large part to the business savvy Captain Bill Smith Grant, Founder George Smith’s last distilling descendant. Grant was able to persuade the Pullman Company to offer 2-ounce miniatures of The Glenlivet as one of the only Scotch whiskies available in the dining cars helping to spread the whisky’s fame across the US.
The Glenlivet is paying homage to this history and to the sophisticated style of classic Pullman trains with a limited-edition series of single cask whiskies. The Glenlivet Single Cask Edition Pullman Train Collection includes three exclusive expressions, each inspired by this golden age of luxury train travel. The name of each bottle is inspired by the Pullman connection: Pullman Club Car, Pullman Twentieth Century Limited, and Pullman Water Level Route. Founded on the three pillars of rarity, purity, and uniqueness, each Single Cask within the Pullman Train Collection is hand-selected by Master Distiller, Alan Winchester.
The Pullman Club Car edition, aged in ex-sherry butts filled in 1998, shows ripe fruit and creamy milk chocolate notes, with hints of toasted almond and baking spice. Only 498 bottles are available.
The Pullman 20th Century Limited is named for what was known as the most famous train in the world. Passengers literally got the red-carpet treatment: The expression itself was coined as a reference to the crimson carpet rolled out to welcome people onto this storied Pullman train. The whisky has been aged in European oak since 2002, imparting soft honeyed and floral aromas that give way to sweet citrus, ginger and spice. Only 524 bottles are available.
The final expression is the Pullman Water Level Route, which pays homage to a special route operating between Chicago and Grand Central Terminal in New York City. It featured the original high-speed train, traveling at an impressive (for the era) 60 miles per hour and completing the trip in a record 16 hours. A passenger leaving New York could depart at 6 p.m., enjoy his nightcap of fine whisky before retiring to his private compartment, and expect to arrive in the Windy City by 9 o’clock the next morning. This extremely rare edition – just 270 bottles have been released – was matured in American oak hogshead casks, filled in 2002. It shows a lush, peachy character with plenty of vanilla and honeycomb on the palate.