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Glenlivet 15 Year Old French Oak Finish

Jack of All Trades

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@OdysseusUnboundReview by @OdysseusUnbound

21st Nov 2018


Glenlivet 15 Year Old French Oak Finish
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

This bottle, or the bottom third of this bottle (as it were), was a gift from my wife's grandfather, Jack. I'm the only one who drinks scotch with him, and he doesn't like having too much of it in the house. Jack's brother buys him two bottles of scotch every year: one for his birthday and one for Christmas. Every few months, Jack brings me a bottle, or half a bottle, or in this case a third of a bottle, because he wants to open a different one. I'm all too happy to oblige him. I've sipped this one with him intermittently since July, but it only came into my possession this past Saturday, so I'm only now doing a critical assessment. My scoring of this bottle is probably a bit on the high side, as the previous months' experience of sipping this one while chatting with Jack makes the whisky that much more enjoyable.

Glenlivet, sorry THE Glenlivet's 15 Year Old expression is finished in French Limousin Oak. This oak is often used for maturing cognac. How long in Limousin Oak, as opposed to ex-bourbon? Your guess is as good as mine.The idea is to imbue the whisky with rich fruity notes, and sweet spices, according to THE Glenlivet's website. So let's see what I can find.

Tasting Notes

  • Nose (undiluted): light, floral, vanilla, peaches, apricots
  • Palate (undiluted): very soft arrival, light bodied, peaches, almonds, vanilla
  • Finish: short to medium length, icing sugar, meringues, more peaches, then drying, with a malted barley note lingering for just a moment.

Bottled at 40% abv, this does not need water. It's a very light and subtle whisky. It's agreeable and inoffensive. A casual drinker would definitely classify it as SMOOOOOOOOOOOOOTH. This whisky is unlikely to elicit any kind of strong reaction, which would make it ideal for someone new to malt whisky. It's also one you could serve to a large group of people without worrying about peat, smoke, or even big sherry (possibly sulphuric) flavours. However, I don't want to sound condescending. This is a well-made malt whisky. There are no off flavours, the texture is silky, and the whole experience is satisfying. If it were priced more reasonably, it would be the ideal whisky for casual sipping with company.

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BlueNote commented

@OdysseusUnbound I agree. At $50-60 it would be worth keeping a bottle on hand, but it’s closer to $80 here with taxes and well off my radar. And you did use the dreaded S word in your description.

5 years ago 2Who liked this?

OdysseusUnbound commented

@BlueNote Yeah, it runs about $90 here. Hard no on that front, but happy to have shared it. Much better with good company (isn’t that always the case?)

5 years ago 1Who liked this?

MadSingleMalt commented

I also inherited a partial bottle of this once, but from a guy named John instead of Jack.

I really disliked it. Not because it was weak or ubersmooth or forgettable. But because of that spice! I remember the taste of (apparently) that limousin oak being rather overpowering, and not at all to my taste.

It's one of the reasons I've never taken a spin on Compass Box's Spice Tree, as I imagine it tasting the same.

5 years ago 0