Whisky Review – the Glenlivet 15 year old French Oak

Glenlivet 15 French Oak
40% ABV
Ā£37.24 at MasterOfMalt

Nose.

Very sweet. Rich and creamy. Tutti fruiti. Buckets of Vanilla and Honey. A little citrus grapefruit in the background, but the sweetness does tend to overwhelm the hidden complexities.

Palate.

Sweet. Caramel. Honey. Some citrus. A little aged oak tannins coming through mid development. Chewy. Very creamy and easy to drink.

Finish.

Sweet. Honey. A little grapefruit peel. Some drying oak spice at the finale.

Adding Water.

A small drop added. There is a little more citrus (specifically grapefruit) in the nose. The sweetness has subsided a little. More oak tannins are evident. Some floral aromas are also present. On the palate more complexity is revealed, with softer fruits coming to the forefront. More aged oak, whilst retaining its creamy sweet profile. The finish is creamy, warm and quite luxurious. This dram definitely benefits from a drop of water.

Conclusion.

This is a very nice session dram. One which I would enjoy on any night. It’s a quality, well constructed whisky.

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Whisky Reviews – 18 year olds! Glen Marnoch, Glenfiddich & the Glenlivet

Glen Marnoch 18 year old
40% ABV
Aldi(!) Ā£24.99

Colour. Dark caramel. šŸ™‚

Nose.

There was initially (this is a newly opened bottle) a smoky balanced blend nose to this, reminding me of johnnie walker black label. That soon changed completely. Now it is sherry based. Light fruitcake. Rum soaked raisins. Black cherry. Oak spices. A little pepper. Some milk chocolate. Oranges and peel. Quite a mouth watering nose.

Palate.

Fruity. Very fruity. Oranges. Raisins. Dried dark fruits. Toffee and sherry malt. Pepper. Quite dry. Some coffee. Chocolate. A lighter mouthfeel. But does have some oiliness to it. Some fizziness.

Finish.

Medium-long. Fruit and Toffee fading into Orange peel. Milk chocolate. A little coffee. Some bitter tannins. Taste a little peach at the very end. Like fizzy peach soft gum sweets!

Adding water.

Just a small drop as its at 40%. Nose has a little more age on it with some sawdust and more oak spices coming through. On the palate this is also reflected, although things seem a lot mellower and better balanced. The finish remains as undiluted, though it dries out quicker.

Conclusion.

Well well well. Surprised. It’s a really nice, well constructed, tasty dram. I wouldn’t say it was intense, but a very easily accessible, easy drinking, stable of an aged sherried Whisky. I really like it. Price wise it’s a bargain. Was really expecting something pishworthy. But there you go! Can’t always tell by the supermarket label can you?!!

Glenfiddich 18 year old
40% ABV
Ā£45.57 from MasterOfMalt

Colour. Gold

Nose.

Toffee. Apples stewed. Leather. Tobacco. Vanilla. Honey. Furniture polish. Rich oak spices. After time in the glass some darker fruits come through and a little fruitcake. A very complex and alluring nose. Now I’m getting some sawdust and older museum furniture notes.

Palate.

A light mouthfeel. Slow development. Sweet orchard Fruits. Pepper. Chilli. Mellowing out to more fruits. Apples. Bananas. Then more sherry notes. Fruitcake. Raisin. Grape. Very smooth.

Finish.

Sweet fruits stick around. Toffee and honey. Some age pokes through in the form of sawdust. A little soft spices. Drying out and leaving oak behind.

Adding water?

A small drop as already 40%. The compilation of fruits step forward with the aged notes retreating a little. Some coffee mocha is apparent on the nose and palate. The palate remains full of fruit and spice and the toffee notes become more in the foreground. The finish has a little more age to it and a little less dry.

Conclusion.

I’m surprised again! Why? Well. First time I tried glenfiddich 18 year old was as a taster of 12/15/18. It was my least favourite that day with 15 shining through for me. Now it could be that 15 would shine for me today as well, but I’m not trying 15 am I! As I’m going into this new bottle (previous taste was from a mini about 18 months ago) I was expecting disappointment and have found none. This is a very very nice aged dram with some good complexities and excellent balance. Can’t say much else on this one right now. Want to finish my dram! šŸ™‚

The Glenlivet 18 year old
43% ABV
Ā£50.52 from MasterOfMalt

Colour. Gold

Nose.

Treacle toffee. Honey. Brown sugar. Gentle sweet. Initially I’m thinking almost simple. Considering its slightly higher ABV it’s easier on the nose than the others in terms of olfactory burn! Vanilla. Rum and raisin ice cream. Needs time in the glass to give more. Grass and hay. Showing age with Some floral polish. Oak spice sits in the background.

Palate.

Sweet and creamy. Light pepper burn. But very easy and smooth. Brown sugar. Sweet Honied malt. Some dark fruits coming through. Very chewy. A little salt.

Finish.

Sweet salty to dry. More sweetness in the sugar but some burnt caramel edges left behind. Drying oak is left at the end. A little bitter at the very end.

Adding water?

A few drops added has increased the range on the nose. More spice is evident and greater depth to the dark fruits hidden in the background. Still very dark sugary nose. On the palate it feels slightly hotter. More spice and pepper and the fruit (as with the diluted nose) is more up front and concentrated. The finish gives a little more age and dryness. Much more complex with a drop if water.

Conclusion.

It’s a nice dram but feels the less complicated of the three. I was wondering if my palate was playing up and reset it with a break, food, beer and a pint of water! It’s easy. Accessible. Simple. And good quality. Just not as overly complex as I expected. I’m not sure if this is new bottle syndrome. But I will revisit in a month or so to determine this.

18 year old Comparison Conclusion.

For me the Glenfiddich was the surprise winner! With a close 2nd from the Aldi Glen Marnoch. Again. More surprises. It’s funny how going into a mini tasting session like this can come with expectations which are flipped completely on their head!

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Whisky Review – Glenlivet Alpha

Glenlivet alpha.
50% abv (nothing else known at this time)
Around Ā£100 if you can find it!

Colour.

Amber +2. I would assume no added colourings.

Nose.

Rich tropical fruits. Pineapple rich. Tooty fruity. Juicy fruit chewing gum. Apples. Vanilla. A little oaky age in there. Maybe a touch of varnish or pear drops! Lots of boiled old school sweeties.

Palate.

Fruity sweetness covers the tongue and envelopes the mouth. Initial burn gives a little sweet and sour effect but soon subsides into that fruit fuelled glory. Time in the mouth just makes the dram chewable and thoroughly integrated into taste heaven. A very easy drinker considering the alcohol level.

Finish.

Drying fruit salad sweets. Some oak chips and dust. Fruit layers come through in the medium-long finish. Interchanging between fruit and oak as time goes on. Very smooth going down.

Adding water?

This dram is pretty easy going out of the bottle. But need to try what water will do for it. Will put in a few drops into my half a dram. On the nose the sting is lowered which gives more depth to the fruit station. More citrus. Fruits are more stewed. Lemons. Grapefruit. Ripe pineapple. On the palate the heat is reduced and the fruit explosion is higher in the megaton dept. The oaky sawdust age is more evident also giving an excellent balance. The finish continues to interchange between fruit and oak and is just very beautiful. Very enjoyable. Want more! A lovely mistiness has entered the dram. Non-chill filtered then! šŸ™‚
A little more water added causes the fruit to diminish and the old oak sawdust effect to shine. So it’s a matter of taste to how much water. For me. A little water. Not a lot! Let the fruit come through and balance remain.

Conclusion.

Initially I was very dumbfounded by the idea of a bottle coming out at the near 100 quid range which had no info whatsoever about it. In honesty my experience with the blind tasting of the 12 blends of Easter did give me more of an interest in the whole unknown nature of Whisky tasting and that made me more open to the idea of trying this with that zero info element. I have to say its been very interesting so far. I haven’t done a lot of reading about this dram or followed the info provided so far online/Facebook. But now I’ve made my judgement I will follow it and see what info comes out and how wrong I am! šŸ™‚ So. Was it worth it. Yeah, I’d say it was worth a go! I did get a sample pack through from Chivas for this and I would like to thank them wholeheartedly for allowing me to test and be a part of this experiment. It’s been great fun. I did buy a bottle in as well! :-). I guess as far as maturation is concerned I would either go with bourbon casks. Possibly an older refill Whisky. Or of course it could be a mix of old and newer. Refill+first fills! :-). Whatever it is its a tasty dram.

My thanks go to the Glenlivet for including me on the alpha tweet taste.

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Whisky Review – Glenlivet 12 year old

Glenlivet 12 year old
40% ABV

Ā£27.13 from Master of Malt

Nose.

Fruity crazy. Apples dominate a vanilla wrapping. Signature pineapple is around and about. Roasting brown sugar encrusts the fruit. Quite an intensive alluring nose that demands drinking.

Palate.

Quite light in the mouth. Apples and pineapple with a sugary coating. Heat in the middle. A little sour and a malty over taste.

Finish.

Malt and fruit tingles around for a little while.

Adding water?

A small drop in my 1/2 dram. At 40% I don’t want to add much. It does benefit on the nose with a little water. The fruit becomes more layered and more tropical fruits apparent with some grapefruit coming in. The palate also has more to give. I’m quite surprised at this as I usually find 40% whiskies deteriorate with water added but the glenlivet 12 is much easier and scrummier with that dash. The mid heat is gone in favour of that extra fruit in the nose being present in the enriched flavour. The malt also has more depth in the taste and finish. All around. Surprising to me this malt is.

Conclusion.

A nice stable. Easy drinking dram. Can see this is a good starter for a tasting session to reset the palate and taste new things! So surprised at the effect water has on this malt. So much more to give with a dash! Yummy.

My thanks go to the Glenlivet for including me on the alpha tweet taste.

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