Review: The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve

Review: The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve

Rum is hot right now — at least in the world of whiskey it is, where rum casks are being used in all manner of new whiskey releases, including expressions from Dewar’s, Tullamore D.E.W., and now The Glenlivet, which finishes a non-age-stated single malt in Caribbean rum casks for an undetermined length of time.

You can really — really — taste the rum on this one. The nose isn’t quite as distinctive, offering notes of fresh cereal, some barrel char, and a thick layer of spice — though this doesn’t come across as particularly tropical. While brown sugar notes evoke sweetness, they’re dulled by the influence of the malt and the barrel.

The palate is quite rummy, with a strong butterscotch note, plus elements of coconut, tiki spices, and honey grahams. There’s a light lemon influence, layered atop a significant base of grainy malt — this is a young whiskey, but it’s not too young. The finish is quite sweet and buttery, with lingering honey notes, some cloves, and cinnamon.

On the whole, it’s an interesting spirit that, for the most part, opens up some curious mixing possibilities.

80 proof.


The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. Garth Rush on February 21, 2022 at 7:43 am

    I’m a big fan of The Glenlivet, I usually purchase either 12-year, 14 year or 18-year aged. This I decided to try something different and purchased a bottle of Caribbean Reserve. Big mistake on my part, in the glass if did not know what was in the glass, I would think it was a wine. On first taste I knew I had wasted $35, it tasted like a disgusting cheap unaged Scotch. I have purchased Glenlivet since 1983 if the first bottle had tasted like this stuff it would have been my last

  2. Ed on November 1, 2023 at 10:06 pm

    I have been drink a variety of scotches from heavy peat to smoky and I must say this is quite different. I would not normally buy but felt like experimenting. I enjoyed the scotch flavor surrounded by spices, coconut and traces of rum. I would stock this in my bar as a game changer. A rainy day type of experience.

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