Review No.201. The Glenlivet 18 Year Old

The Glenlivet brand needs no introduction.  I have tried the 12 and 15 year old, both of which were quite different to one another.  The 12 being a solid introductory malt with floral notes but not much else and the 15 taking it a bit further with extra richness imparted by extra maturation in french oak.  Neither really excited me but I was still curious to try the 18 year old because I wanted to see what a large volume produce such as Glenlivet are possible of producing at such an age.


Whisky: The Glenlivet 18 Year Old Single Malt Whisky, 43%

Nose: Light cereal, malt, honey, floral, vanilla, barley sugar, touch of smoke

Taste: Butterscotch, malt, cream, ginger, honey, brown sugar, peat, vanilla

Finish: Vanilla, cinnamon, barley sugar, spice

Score: 3.75

Summary: This is lighter than expected.  The balance of malt and sweet is very pleasant and makes it very drinkable.  Amongst the vanilla and floral notes there is a touch of smoke which balances well with the rest of the flavours, the peat doesn’t dominate but it noticeable enough to be a welcome addition.  Some spice comes through in the form of honey, ginger and cinnamon.  There is a generic sweet fruitiness to this which I can’t quite pin down.  Overall the gentleness of the delivery and texture makes this a solid single malt but it suffers from the same problem as the 12 and 15 year old malts in that I do not find it interesting.



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


Image source: