About a year ago I already reviewed The Glenlivet 12yo, but that one was bottled around 2005. Now I stumbled upon an example of the same stuff, this time bottled in 2012. We all know the big boys want consistency, so now we have a chance to find out. For those of you who don’t know already. Due to the enormous rise in popularity of Single Malt Whiskies, a distillery can’t afford anymore, to wait 12 years to make an entry-level Malt. This 12yo will be replaced in most markets, apart from Asia and the USA, where I’m informed, the consumers like “numbers” more than the consumers in other markets. The replacement is The Glenlivet “Founders Reserve”. Yes, a Whisky described by only letters, no numbers anymore for us Europeans.
Nose: Malty with sweet fruit and quite some wax. Nice aroma. One thing if for sure. The aroma of the 12yo never holds back, its vibrant and wants you to drink it. Definitely not a closed spirit. Vanilla and oak, parts of it even new oak, since the wood smell is a little bit sharper. Sweet and candied. Fruity. No pineapple this time, but I do get some apricots. Powdered coffee creamer (the initial smell of it, not the fatty part). At least this nose lives up to its earlier brothers (or sisters if you like).
Taste: Strange enough, this starts with wood, partially bitter and partially burnt. Then a quick passing by of some (sugared) fruit and some soapy (ear) wax, which is quickly overtaken by paper. Diluted red fruits and the bitterness never moves an inch. Not as sweet as the older versions. Quite a difference from the 2005, 12yo, I mentioned above. Not a long finish and the aftertaste isn’t all that pleasant as well.
When reviewing the 2005 version and comparing that to the new “Founders Reserve” I was quite shocked by the difference in taste. The “Founders Reserve” tastes as a very young and immature Whisky, almost as if it wasn’t ready, but the marketing department wanted it out anyway. Now that I have tasted this 12yo from 2012, and do remind yourself how much the Whisky world has changed between 2005 and 2012, the difference in quality isn’t all that great, although the taste is quite different. My advise would be, get yourself an old 12yo, but do not pay too much for it, and be surprised how nice it was.