The Glenlivet is one of the most popular international single
malts on the market today and leads the field in America. This is a
surprise as I’m still searching for a Glenlivet that really provides a memorable
experience to warrant such popularity. It’s not that the whisky is terrible
rather it just feels a little tired, restrained and mundane on the palate.
A positive is that Glenlivet range is attractively priced;
the only discrepancy being the recent 15 year old single cask release for the
Speyside Festival that was £200. In comparison this 15 year old is priced
around the upper end of £30 thereby offering encouragement for those wanting to
step beyond the entry level 12 year old. This approach does facilitate some experimentation
without too many hazards as there is nothing worse than splashing out on a costly
bottle only to be disappointed.
Originally launched in 2000 as a 12 year old, the French Oak
was re-launched in 2004 as an older expression at 15 years. I’ve never had the opportunity
to experience the initial launch and on the basis of this extended aged version
the move has been very successful.
Age: 15 year old
Cask: matured in French Oak casks
Aroma: A very sweet nose with honeycomb, cinder toffee and
golden syrup. The real distinct lack of wood on the nose comes as a surprise with
the only suggestion being just the hint of vanilla. Midway the arrival of a
soapy note was unexpected although fleeting in its duration before pepper
arrived on the scene.
Taste: Now here comes the wood. Citrus in the form of lemon
and a tinge of burnt orange moving beyond caramel. A memorable summer moment flashes
by with freshly cooked apple pie straight out of the oven with a little too much cinnamon.
There isn’t much to dislike about this solid dram. For some
the 15 year old might be the perfect evening malt or weekend treat. If you’re
satisfied then great that’s what matters but I’ll continue to search out more
expansive and daring whiskies.
Labels: 15 year old, French oak reserve, Glenlivet, review, taste, whisky