Glenlivet Distillery Bottlings Tasting Notes

Posted: September 1, 2011 in Glenlivet, Scotch Whisky A-G

The Glenlivet, The Guardians Chapter 48.7%

Tasted: Jan 2015

Nose: Wonderfully fragrant and honeyed – A serious mature honey fest. Sweet-ish barley, hints of coffee, earth and light, granity notes come through, but damn, it’s death by honey!

Palate: Unctuous and mouth-coating honey and plenty of it too! Hints of citrus, earth and minerals emerge. It’s not overly complex but it is stunningly deep.

Finish: Long and honeyed (surprise!) with alcohol freshening the finish but the honey hangs on in there.

Conclusion: You could argue that it’s a bit simple but when it delivers simple like this, who needs complexity?

The Glenlivet Founders Reserve 40%

Tasted: Mar 2015

Nose: Opens with herbal honey, malt, barley and hints of under-ripe banana. Freshens pleasant as some citrus emerges along with hints of white liquorice and vanilla.

Palate: A little under powered and relatively straightforward with herbal honey, barley and vanilla oak. Developing nutty coffee on the middle with a touch of apricot and under-ripe banana.

Finish: Medium length with lingering barley and honey.

Conclusion: It’s pleasant enough in an unassuming way. Although it does fill out on the palate I would have liked to have seen it bottled at 43 or 46%.

The Glenlivet Nadurra Peated Whisky Cask Finish 61.5%

Tasted: Mar 2016

Nose: Intense, sweet barley, toasted toffee and herbal fruit. Ever so slightly soapy with and almost Irish-like character. Hints of over ripe banana and boiled sweets.

Palate: Soft, creamy and barley’d. Again comparisons with an Irish are quite justified. Quite bananary on the middle with the developing sweetnesss amazingly outdoing the alcohol.

Finish: Creamy and bananary with lingering barley.

Conclusion: You would have thought at this abv it needs water, but that just makes it overly sweet and confected.

The Glenlivet 12 year old 40%

Tasted: Mar 2005

A clean, youthful, creamy oak dominated nose with some soft citrus fruit and a granity note. Light bodied with a reasonable intensity of soft citrus fruit, malt and less oak than the nose would suggest. Straightforward yet pleasant with a slightly floral note and a nutty finish.

The Glenlivet 12 year old 40%

Tasted: Dec 2009

An ever so slightly spirity nose, however it settles down to show some lovely crisp honey and barley. Pleasant depth and slightly floral with some orange fruit that tries hard to remain undetected. The palate is caramel-flat, oily and quite spirity, there’s some barley but the finish is hard and a bit harsh.

The Glenlivet ‘French Oak’ 12 year old 40%

Tasted: Apr 2007

Deep in colour and softer, yet sharper than the 12 yearold. It has an almost crumbly rye quality to the nose, then the big French vanillins wade in along with some lovely, soft, crumbly spices and a deep orange fruit note. Later touch of smoke.

The palate is a bit disappointing, opening with burnt toffee and a plasticy note followed by the oily vanillins and plenty of tannins. To be honest there is not a lot of fruit, it is pretty much oak and spirit, not even some delightful late peppery spice can save it.

The Glenlivet Nadurra 16 year old 56.9%

First Fill Bourbon/ Batch 01/3V

Dist: 1997 Btl: Jan 2013/ Tasted: Nov 2013

The nose is very malty with fragrant herbs, barley and honey. However it’s the oak notes which steal the show, veering between intensely toasty to buttery to spicy and grainy and back again! Quite honeyed with time, flecked with demerara sugar and displaying a touch of treacle toffee.

The palate opens with a lovely citrus note mingling with hints of malt and coffee. That citrus note keeps building and sharpening holding the honey and sweet, creamy oak at bay. Quite herbal with some butterscotch and citrus couch sweet moments. The oak begins to assert itself on the finish and does bitter a little but the creaminess just about offsets that. Possibly the most interesting distillery bottling of Glenlivet I’ve tasted.

The Glenlivet 18 year old 43%

Tasted: Dec 2009

A gentle and mature nose, redolent of luscious orange and dusty spices. The fruit becomes wonderfully sugarcoated as the nose moves into mature Bourbon oak territory with a gentle creaminess, butter, toffee and finally into marzipan oiliness.

The palate is soft and flat and a bit disappointing. Sure there is plenty of mature honey and soft, crumbly spices and creamy oak on the finish, but the orange fruit on the middle refusing to come out and lurks beneath the oak. In conclusion it’s all rather straightforward and linear– a distinct lack of excitement!

The Glenlivet XXV 43%

Tasted: Dec 2014

Nose: Moist Armagnac-esque dried fruit with a light herbal, botanical note. Quite woody with hickory, tar, dark chocolate, charred wood and sweet menthol. However some luscious maple syrup balances, as does some mesmerising citrus. Wonderfully spicy with a beautiful herbaceous, woody character.

Palate: Exceedingly spicy with black pepper, dusty clove, cinnamon, chunky hickory and light treacle. Full and sweet but the encroaching bitter, chocolaty tannins counterbalance. Wow. Spice city!

Finish: very long and very spicy with a sweet violet note emerging along with a light chocolate coated rose petal Turkish delight note. A fabulous ending!

Conclusion: A stunning old spice monster!

The Glenlivet XXV 43%

Re-Tasted: Jan 2014

Nose: Big, rounded Oloroso sherry aromas. Walnuts, treacle, dark spice, liquorice, smoke and mentholated herbs. With time it becomes quite buttery with juicy raisinated fruit and sweet cinnamon spices emerging.

Palate: Soft, full and juicy with Oloroso sherry, tar, treacle and dark spices. Oxidation has given it a rum-like edge and like the nose it becomes quite buttery with time.

Finish: Long with the rum-like dried fruit and rye-like spices lingering

Conclusion: A big sherry monster witch shows a good complexity of wood notes.

The Glenlivet XXV 43%

Nose: Oily and pleasantly perfumed. Gentle white fruit with hints of hyacinth and some almost rye-like herbal spice notes. With time the oak puts in an appearance bringing hints of creamy toffee.

Palate: The palate opens with plenty of soft, squidgy fruit and gentle spice. Quite full with barley, pepper and dusty wood tannins.

Finish: Good length. The alcohol does dry the finish a little but some light honey balances.

Conclusion: A rather pleasant mouthful.


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