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As a young whisky-drinker I always keep my eyes open for bargains at supermarkets, so when I picked up a bottle of Glenlivet 12 for £18 I thought I was in for the deal of the year. After impatiently waiting till after dinner, I parked myself in front of the fire, grabbed my nicest tumbler and my bottle of Glenlivet.
Nose: On pouring out the first dram I felt that my hopes had been exceeded. Whilst I generally prefer a bit of Islay peat-and-salt in my whisky, I've always liked a nice Speysider and this seemed to be the real deal. The nose was almost a blast of fuitiness: Spiced pear, cinnamon, vanilla and a dollop of marzipan on the end. It smelt divine.
Palate: Oh. Oh dear. What a huge disappointment. After all the promise of that huge nose (maybe I just had a lucky bottle for the nose?) the palate was a huge let-down. It was harsh, the fruitiness and spices were muted and my overriding sensation was one of burning. I added a teaspoon of water and that really killed it. Nothing coming out here. I left the bottle, neglected, for a month or three and tried again with the same results.
Finish: Frankly, the palate was so harsh and unpleasant that I didn't want a finish. I don't remember anything special coming from it at any rate!
Summary: A sad ending for a potentially great whisky. Perhaps I had a dodgy bottle, perhaps not. I'll give it another go sometime in the future, but I'm not rushing to it. I've since been given Glenlivet 15, so sometime I'll compare the two...