Review: Glenlivet 12


Nested in the Scottish Highlands, The Glenlivet distillery is the oldest legal distillery in the parish of Glenlivet. Founded in 1824 by George Smith it has operated almost continuously since. The distillery survived the Great Depression and its only closure was during World War II. Since reopening after the war, the Glenlivet brand has become synonymous with the word scotch and is now the biggest selling single malt whisky in the United States. The french alcoholic beverages conglomerate Pernod Ricard currently owns and operates the Glenlivet distillery which produces six million bottles of single malt whisky per annum.

Glenlivet’s remote location, high altitude and geological structure play an important part in the crafting of their single malts. They take pride in the snow fed natural spring, Josie’s Well, whose gallons of mineral rich water are a key ingredient in their recipe.

Glenlivet Distillery offers a range of products starting from 12 yrs up to 25 yrs. They don’t use peat in the drying process which means their whiskies are lighter on the nose and palate. Their lantern shaped copper pot stills were designed by George Smith and are uniquely Glenlivet. The size and shape of the still causes the spirit to interact considerably with the copper which results in a lighter dram.

With nearly 200 years of history, Glenlivet is rightfully proud of their heritage and legacy. It’s an enormous accomplishment to maintain a business for 188 years. The consistency and proliferation of their whisky is a testament to their success.

Tasting Notes

Nose: fruity undertones, vanilla, smells sweet like pastries

Mouth: tame, dried orange peels, anise

Finish: very smooth lingering finish, buttery

Score: 79/100

Verdict: This is a great entry level single malt whisky since it’s relatively light and easy on the senses. Glenlivet 12 yr is accessible to the palate and easy to find. There isn’t much complexity going on here, but it’s a solid whisky which is enjoyable to sip when you’re in the mood for something light. As the first single malt bottle I ever purchased, Glenlivet 12 will always have a special place in my heart.

Where to Buy

This is one of the most common whiskies in NYC. You should be able to find a bottle in every and any self-respecting wine and spirits store in Manhattan.

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