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Nose: vanilla oak, toffee cream, cookie dough, dried apricot, walnut, pineapple
Taste: vanilla, orange zest, sweet cream, light oak, touch of strawberry
Arrival: flavour develops quite slowly at the front of the tongue and moves backward. Quite weak and ineffective.
Finish: abrupt and unexpected. Sort of a lack-lustre drop-off.
On the palate this whisky feels watery and thin. No robust, deep flavours here. It is what it is, however I was (at least) expecting much more given the age statement. It doesn't coat the palate like a good dram of the same age would - it sort of sits and wallows and trickles around the tongue as if waiting to be given direction.
For a 15 year old whisky, the Glenlivet fails to impress. Luckily I had the fortune of finding my bottle on sale at roughly half the price, though if I had the chance for a do-over, l would certainly choose any of the only slightly more expensive Bruichladdich bottlings on the same shelf. The Glenlivet may appeal to many "mainstream" scotch whisky drinkers, but as a Speyside whisky it truly falls short of the other great Speysiders on the market.
There is obvious E150 present, and I wouldn't go so far as to say it isn't chill filtered - both of which could be eliminated to produce a higher quality single malt. Not to mention, a higher ABV would do this whisky wonders. I've only had a few malts over the 15 year mark, but each has been an inviting, complex tasting experience. Unfortunately I cannot say the same for this particular Glenlivet. After numerous tastings it has revealed to me just as much as the bad end of some lower quality 12 year olds that I've tasted. Needless to say I won't be buying a bottle again, though I suspect this may be a good dram to break out to some beginners looking to break in to the world of scotch whisky.