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Glenlivet’s expressions can be hit or miss, but I am a fan of their house style, which typically involves a pineapple note and some well-integrated baking spices. Interestingly this 12 year old sitting in front of me is perhaps THE biggest single malt in Pernod-Ricard’s portfolio. Glenlivet 12 often finds itself neck and neck with Glenfiddich 12 as the most consumed single malt in the world. But does quality lose priority to quantity when you’re producing such a massive amount of whisky? Spoiler alert; yes.
Nose: The signature Glenlivet pineapple note is here, as are apples, pears, caramel, cinnamon, brown sugar, and malt. It’s inviting enough.
Palate: Light mouthfeel, with a roasted quality to the flavours. As expected, apples, pears, pineapples, nuts, caramel, baking spices, a pinch of salt, and some honey.
Finish: Roasted… no, burnt nuts, pineapple, canned fruit salad, apple-cinnamon, white pepper, honey, artificial sweetener, and a nondescript floral note. The finish is short, and not particularly to my liking.
Obviously this isn't meant to be premium, so my expectations were planted firmly on the ground. It checks most of the boxes for an introductory dram, but it’s not what it could be. There are a few problems with the finish. First, there’s a burnt/charred note that seems out of place. Then there’s the artificial “canned fruit” sweetness that I don’t care for. Finally the baking spices that Glenlivet does so well lack the complexity that the older expressions boast. Ultimately this is a decent, albeit forgettable whisky.