Review: The Glenlivet Scotch – Six Core Expressions

After digging Glenlivet’s 25-year Scotch, the company was kind enough to send samples of the rest of the “core” lineup — the bottles that are available worldwide, year-round, all the time — for comparison. This Speyside giant produces quite a range of whiskys. Some thoughts follow.

Glenlivet 12 Year – Your standard Glenlivet, 80 proof, the one you can get anywhere on the planet. Very appealing, with a surprising rush of apples, then caramel, then a whiff of smoke. Medium finish, but quite sugary. For sweet tooths like me, this is excellent stuff for the price. Amazing value. B+ / $24

glenlivet 15 101x300 Review: The Glenlivet Scotch   Six Core ExpressionsGlenlivet 15 Year French Oak Reserve – Feels hotter than its 80 proof. Extremely woody — the flavor is more akin to chewing on twigs than any kind of toffee- or vanilla-style notes you typically get from wood. Just doesn’t gel for me. C+ / $37

Glenlivet Nàdurra 16 Year – “Nàdurra” means “natural” in Gaelic, and it’s a very pale yellow whisky, shockingly so considering its 16 years of age. Matured in first-fill American oak, it’s wildly different in style than the 12 and 15, with a spicy character and very dry, quick finish. Many flavors at play here, and difficult to pin down. Complex and curious. It grows on you, offering some citrus peel bitterness. 96 proof, big for Glenlivet. B+ / $54

glenlivet 18 82x300 Review: The Glenlivet Scotch   Six Core ExpressionsGlenlivet 18 Year – Dark gold. Looks like old whisky. 86 proof, so not too hot. Lightly smoky and oaky. Oily on the palate. Less fruit than the 12, but in a similar style. Kind of short on the finish, alas. Was hoping for more, but this one fades away too fast. B / $51

Glenlivet Archive 21 Year (photo below) – Darkest of the bunch (difficult to tell, but I think a shade darker than the 25 year, even), a deep brown and 86 proof. Austere and sherry-like, it goes down too easy, even without a drop of water. Very enjoyable and easy to drink. Melds well flavors of light sweetness, wood, and just a touch of smoke. I like it. A- / $135

Glenlivet XXV (retasted) – A little hotter than I remembered, but overall flavor and tone is similar to the 21. Actually a little difficult to discern between them, but I like the honey notes and playful sweetness. 86 proof. I’d rate it an A- this time, but that may be splitting Scotch-soaked hairs. $350

theglenlivet.com

glenlivet 21 Review: The Glenlivet Scotch   Six Core Expressions

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4 Responses to Review: The Glenlivet Scotch – Six Core Expressions

  1. The Glenlivet Nadurra is actually 118 proof.

  2. omega2010 – there are different Nadurra bottlings, even with the same age statement. In 2008 it was 96 proof; that may have changed.

  3. Well, my math was off there, after looking at the label of my recently purchased bottle of Nadurra, I see the ABV is 57% or 114 proof.

  4. Pingback: Review: The Glenlivet Nadurra Triumph 1991 » Drinkhacker.com

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