Review No.95. The Glenlivet 15 Year Old

The Glenlivet is a well known brand across the world and is a big seller.  The fact that the 12 year old was withdrawn from the UK market in about 2014-15 I think, to preserve stocks for other markets gives an indication of its popularity.  As a result, I have yet to try the 12 year old – which for a whisky fan is quite shocking.  It was replaced with the Founder’s Reserve which has received more criticism than praise from what I have seen.  The 12 year old has only just been reintroduced to the UK market and can be found at one major supermarket for £38 – which feels a bit too high for my liking, even though I have not tried it.  So next bottle in line in the range is the 15 year old.  I got this as a miniature.  This one has been finished in French Limousine Oak which is used to mature Cognac and imparts rich vanilla flavours.


Whisky: The Glenlivet 15 Year Old Single Malt Whisky, 40%

Nose: Caramel, toasted oak, green apples, forest fruits, floral

Taste: Honey, toast, butter, raisins, oak

Finish: Honey, raisins, leather, pepper

Score: 2.75

Summary: This is decent, in that I would happily have this on rotation on my whisky shelf but it doesn’t excite me.  There is a nice richness to this and a good dose of oak which is not ruined by tannins.  Everything about it is gentle and warming from nose the finish but it lacks that spark of character I am looking for.  I suspect this may partly be due to it being bottled at 40%. There isn’t much complexity to this either, I wasn’t finding new flavours over time.  On the nose I was able to pick up a good variety of scents but not all of these translated onto the taste and finish.  I can see how the specially selected oak has been used here and I can appreciate what it brings to the Glenlivet, but I was expecting more.


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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