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First vapor: Peach cream, orange zest, and almond.
Nose: Sherry-derived purple grape and orange. Vanilla-smooth yet with that sharp sherry overtone like almond skins. Eventually... seems less fruity and more malty, like walnut baklava.
Palate: Piney ginger entrance with orange and lime zest. It becomes thicker/oily in the mouth, while the flavors round out: vanilla comes in and the entrance's tingly fruits soften to a marmelade of varied fruits, especially nectarine and orange peel. Nearing the finish, these fruits seem more like sour cherry, as a light sensation of walnut overtakes the vanilla.
Finish: Lightens significantly, to light nectarine caramel, while continued exhaling provides nutmeg or those almond skins, plus raisin and vanilla.
This fulfills high expectations from the category of sherried malts. All is in balance, it is not too sweet but gives a good range (and variation over time) of fruits. It is furthermore very easy to drink, with no bitter spices, superbly smooth and decently thick. The main drawback is the fairly light finish. I also could ask for more subtleties in the palate. Another reservation is that a sample kept for a couple weeks of oxidation seemed to gain some bitter notes (more nutmeg), which would reduce my score by 2-3 points. But when fresh, this is playfully fruity, sufficiently deep, and wonderfully balanced.
This Glenlivet is similar to the Aberlour 18, a malt that had me wishing for more pitted fruit and vanilla influence. Those are now found here. The character also vaguely reminds me of the Glenfarclas 21, another less expensive substitute that includes those influences. The two differ a fair amount, in that the Glenfarclas is more dairy/nut/caramel/peach, whereas this is more zest/raisin/nectarine; but I would expect both to be appreciated by the same people. I would also (and more closely) compare this to a fellow 25, the Glenmorangie, which is smoother and has more texture (at a premium price point). However, this Glenlivet is your choice if you prefer more dynamic and lively character (nuttier & zestier).