Glenlivet Tasting

Glenlivet XXVTonight I attended a tasting event hosted by the great people at Spec’s in Dallas. Pernod Ricard’s Master if Scotch, Craig Vaught, sampled three whiskies from the Glenlivet line:

  • Glenlivet 18 Year – $85
  • Glenlivet Archive 21 Year – $130
  • Glenlivet 25 Year – $400

All of these Speyside whiskies were decent, but none of them were great. The 18 Year was fruity, woody and spicy, but none of it well integrated. The 21 year brought more balance to the flavor profile and improved with a few drops of water. Of particular note is that it pairs well with chocolate. The 25 year had the most pronounced influence of sherry and was quite enjoyable, but it was a toss-up with the 21 (for $80 less). Glenlivet is the top selling brand of Scotch whisky here and its easy to see why: easy name to pronounce and remember, good but not too challenging flavor, age-based progression that’s easy to understand, great history and broad availability. For me, the one Glenlivet that I’m looking forward to trying is their 16 Year Old Nadurra, which is non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength.

The Glenlivet 12 Year Old

Speyside Single Malt, 12 Years, 40% ABV, $32

The aroma mildly peated corn (might be barley, but it smells like roasted corn to me), caramel and honey. After a while, I detect a feint bit of smoke and citrus. This is great aroma for a $32 whisky. The taste is mildly salty and woody, with notes of citrus and ginger. The ginger builds with the peppery spice and fades away nicely to a mildly bitter wood finish with a bit of salt and peaty smoke. Sipping more reveals notes of vanilla and hazelnut. The sweetness and acidity take a back seat to the spice until the latter begins to fade. By the time it does, the sweetness is nearly gone. This is good stuff and a great value for sure.

The story behind this whisky is included below. Read more here.

Two centuries ago, the illicit whisky from the remote and wild region of Glenlivet was sought after for its smooth and characterful qualities. The defining fruity ‘pineapple’ note from the sma’ stills lives on to this day in George Smith’s definitive legacy of The Glenlivet. The Single Malt That Started It All.