When thinking of the middle of the Whisky road, for me, two distilleries somehow stick out. Glenfiddich as the daddy of Single Malt and Glenlivet. There may be others. Both have a big reputation, huge sales and lots and lots of versions. Most encounters with Malts from the standard range of these distilleries will be in hotel bars and such. Here we’ll have a look at (The) Glenlivet 18yo. This is already the fifth Glenlivet bottled by Glenlivet themselves on these pages, but only the third from the standard range. Earlier we had a look at the 12yo and the 15yo “French Oak Reserve”. The 18yo is another step up from both predecessors. By the way, just recently it was announced that Glenlivet are discontinuing the highly popular sales hit: the 12yo. A decision Diageo say they could’t make when everybody is fearing the discontinuation of their Talisker 10yo. Diageo think that would be stupid…
Color: Amber gold.
Nose: Waxy and fruity. Quite nice, but also pretty simple. Can’t imagine the recent version of this 18yo smelling this “old”. Burnt paper and a slight hint of Sherry. Some vanilla mixed with a more organic note. Quite dusty, but it somehow seems to be a sweet dust. Fruity Sherry with hints of meaty Sherry. Also some hints of Bourbon casks, especially the vanillin and creamy pudding.
Taste: Quite sweet, but when that dissipates more fruity notes appear. Also the slightest hint of tar and a burnt note similar, but not the same as the burning paper note I got in the nose. Sweet Sherry and cookie dough. Very likeable and highly drinkable. Great fruitiness. I even have some cooked banana in here but also some maracuja and dried apricot.
This tastes way nicer than the Macallan 1986 Sherry I reviewed last. This tastes more like an old Whisky, with a bigger body and kind of sweetness that is acceptable due to its balancing with the burnt notes. Quite nice, but slightly too sweet to be a daily drinker, although maybe it is. Good standard bottling from a decade ago. Now I’m curious how a more recent 18yo will taste.