The Glenlivet 12yo (40%, OB, Circa 2005)

A few days ago I reviewed The Glenlivet 15yo and with prices of “better” Whiskies doubling by the week, it isn’t wasted time to look at some entry-level malts (again). Are the malts we anoraks always described as malt for the novices, still any good? Since we hardly can afford anything but the entry-level malts these days (the users, not the collectors), should we return to these Malts or should we move on and look for an alternative? As my dear readers already know, I review more stuff than only Single Malt Whiskies, and I can tell you that al the alternatives for Whisky, just don’t taste like Whisky and if they are any good in their own right, its price will be quite high too, so I’d rather look at entry-level malts and find some gems there. There are enough affordable whiskies around for us to find. The 15yo isn’t expensive, and this 12yo is even cheaper. This 12yo, although in my opinion suffers a bit from batch variation, is for a lot of tasters a benchmark Malt around the 80 points mark. The expression I’m about to review was bottled around 2005, but I have tasted a version from 2012 recently that scored only 77 Points. So let’s see if this earlier expression is any better…

Glenlivet 12yo (40%, OB, Circa 2005)Color: Gold

Nose: Malty, sweet-smelling and very aromatic. Fruity. Pineapple! Leaps out of the glass. Some Sherry influence, but also toffee and caramel (from coloring the Whisky?). Vanilla, but also powdery and almost no wood. Vanilla ice-cream. The smell is so full and pleasant I quite like it. Can hardly believe this comes from a standard 12yo Glenlivet @ 40% ABV (albeit from an older expression). Simple, but very effective stuff. I just hope the palate is not as sweet as the nose suggests.

Taste: Sweet, more wood influence here. Licorice. Entry into the mouth is syrupy and very nice, and as with the nose, it’s surprisingly aromatic. When kept in the mouth for a while it seems to break down a little bit. Some sour notes develop, and the initial full aroma get a bit thinner. The finish has some staying power, and is less sweet than the “beginning” of the Malt. However I can’t get away from the feeling this has gotten quite some caramel coloring. I’ve been involved in some tests where we colored our own Whiskies with original Whisky industry grade E150, and the effect of caramel is that is gives it a typical taste and mellows stuff out a bit. I’m getting that here.

If Glenlivet 12yo was always like this, this would be something of a benchmark Single Malt. Something to compare the others to. Alas that’s not true. As said before, I’ve tried a recent one that was less interesting than this one, but this example from round about 2005 is pretty ok for such a dirt cheap Whisky. I can’t use it as my 80 points benchmark Whisky, since I score it…

Points: 81


One thought on “The Glenlivet 12yo (40%, OB, Circa 2005)

  1. Pingback: » Blogrundschau: Verkostungsnotizen von Standard bis selten

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