It is hard to think of Glenlivet 12 without comparing it to Glenfiddich 12. Together or alone they epitomize the Speyside character, and are neck and neck as the top two selling malts in the global market. You can see how comparisons are inevitable. Though I hope this review stands alone, Ideally you, dear reader, would have a glass of each in front of you to follow along and tell me if you agree.
Glenlivet is known as ‘the single malt that started it all’. The distillery was founded in 1824 to much controversy. As whisky distillation was all done on the downlow to shun the excise man and the Excise Act of 1823, George Smith’s decision to license his business and go legit met with…to put it mildly…a little indignation. A neat history there, but as you should know by now…I am here to tell you about the dram, not the drama behind it. So…on to the whisky!
First things first…I absolutely prefer the nose of this Glenlivet to that of the Glenfiddich 12. The boldest threads to be picked out of the scents here are bright red berries, sweet peaches or nectarines, flowery notes and crunchy red MacIntosh apple. It seems slightly drier, tangier and more mature than the Glenfiddich 12 (and I have a glass of each beside me to prove it!). Gotta be honest though…the Glenfiddich wins on the palate for sure.
The delivery of the Glenlivet to the tongue is sweet. Very sweet. Apples again…wood…a hint of vanilla. A bit of sweet and sour. Falls down a little on the finish with not a lot of length or development beyond the initial discoveries.
None too shabby. Not something I’d go to often, but wouldn’t shy away from a proffered dram either. So long as the follow-up offering was a little more…ahem…extravagant.
- Reviewed by: Curt
- Photo: Curt