Review No.185. The Glenlivet 12

The Glenlivet 12 year old is a well known whisky all over the world but it took me a while to get hold of a bottle at a reasonable price because Glenlivet stopped selling it in the UK to ensure that they had stock for the rest of the world.  A strange move which backfired because they fobbed the UK market off with the Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve which got trashed by online commentators.  The verdict was so unanimous that I didn’t even bother trying it.  Fortunately, the Glenlivet 12 year old is back in the UK. The Glenlivet 12 is pitted amongst the likes of the Glenfiddich 12 and Glenmorangie 10 in that they are widely available, produced in high volume and often on offer in UK supermarkets which makes them most likely to be the first single malt that beginners will try.  This is a very important sector of the market and the 3 mentioned have stood the test of time whilst numerous non age statement bottles from more and more distilleries pop up on the supermarket shelves.  Whisky snobs will look down upon the Glenfiddich 12, Glenmorangie 10 and the Glenlivet 12 but I think they deserve more respect than they get.


Whisky: The Glenlivet 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 40%

Nose: Pears, apples, grass, generic floral-ness, malt

Taste: Metallic, black tea, butterscotch, vanilla, citrus

Finish: Short, light vanilla

Score: 2.5

Summary: There is something very lowland about this.  Think Glenkinchie 12 and Auchentoshan American Oak.  The nose is very pleasant and gives off a nice summer vibe.  On the palate I pick up on a metallic note and some bitterness which is a strange contrast to the nose but then after a few sips some of bourbon cask influence comes through with a tinge of citrus which brings it back to something similar to what I was getting on the nose.  The finish doesn’t really exist.  This is less distinctive than the Glenfiddich 12 and Glenmorangie 10, I can’t quite put my finger on it but what I can say is that the Glenfiddich 12 gives you a lovely mix of fruit and oak and the Glenmorangie 10 gives you a wonderful burst of citrus and vanilla.  However, that is not to say that the Glenlivet 12 has nothing to offer.  This is a solid summer sipper and the lack of distinctiveness makes it ideal for summer cocktails.



Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,

1 – not to my preference

2 – tastes fine but does not excite me

3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally

4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf

5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf


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