The Glenlivet 12y is easy enough to find in a 250mL around here, so if I had any desire to own a bottle/sample, I'd just get that bottle. I understand with your point about wanting it for "reference". I don't remember what it tastes like, just that I don't like it. When doing some tastings (comparisons), it would be nice to set a baseline.
In my anxiousness, I accidentally bought a bottle of Balvenie 12yr Signature, after ordering the 3cl sample! Oh well... I should have printed off the list of samples I ordered and carried it with me to the store.
I will receive my samples on Jan. 10th, so if no one else replies with their experience, I'll come back and let you know how they are packaged/shipped.