The Glenlivet 15yo “French Oak Reserve” (40%, OB, 09.11.2009)

After the oldie from 1975 and the two recent “special” releases, Alpha and Guardians Chapter, here we look into a more “normal” release by The Glenlivet. This is a 15yo standard release Glenlivet, where the tipple came in contact with some French oak. French oak is known for impairing a slightly more tannic flavour to Whisky, whereas American oak usually gives off a more Vanilla or Toffee note. I expect a very easy drinkable Whisky with maybe a little “bite”.

Glenlivet 15yo "French Oak Reserve" (40%, OB)Color: (Light) gold, slightly pink?

Nose: Altogether light and slightly malty. Nice hints of wood. A little bit of toffee, vanilla and sweet apple. Very middle of the road, but also decent and pleasant. It smells like a good daily drinker. A little bit of dust on wood and nuttiness. Picture dust floating in the air in the sunlight in a room with unpolished wooden furniture. Also a touch of oil from tangerine-skins. Nothing out of the ordinary for a decent Single Malt Whisky, yet nice nevertheless.

Taste: Sweet, creamy with toffee and vanilla. A little tannic bite from the wood. Otherwise again very pleasant and very middle of the road. Slighty malty and nutty. Daily drinker written on its forehead. Slightly bitter on the finish, like licking walnut skin for a moment. Obviously from this particular type of oak, French you know.

A very reasonably priced 15yo, which offers a middle-of-the-road experience, with a little bite from the French oak. Pleasant but hardly entertaining, good but nothing special. Especially since it has aged for 15 years, in a time where all Whiskies are released without an age statement. It probably sells a lot, and why not. There is nothing wrong with it and it isn’t a bad Whisky either. Bang-for-your buck material, or a starters Whisky at 40% ABV  if you are interested in the effect tannins can have from French oak. Good but a bit boring (for me).

Points: 82

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