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Everyone who reviewed the Glenlivet Founder’s reserve got dragged into the NAS vs. Age Statement argument. I prefer not to get involved: no angry rants or sycophant flattery in this review. I’d just like to scrutinise this bottle on its own merits, not on its affiliation with the Glenlivet 12. So what do we know about the Founder’s reserve? Well it is the new entry level dram from the Glenlivet distillery, bottled at the bare minimum 40%. Little else is known, which saddens me a bit. The devil is the detail so I would very much like to learn which cask was used in the process (Bourbon, Sherry, Virgin, 1st fill, refill, ASB, Hogsheads, butts,..), etc… Let’s see if we can find it out for ourselves.
Description: No age statement release from Glenlivet, bottled at 40.0% ABV.
Nose: a light and pleasing floral nose: red apples, a lot of vanillin, butter, baking flower, with a hint of Ricola lemon mint.
Mouth: light bodied, dry and a little bitter. A shallow profile comprised of light peppery notes, strong young oak tannins, honey and green apples.
Finish: very short, vanillin with touches of pepper from the oak.
Verdict: it walks like a malt, talks like a malt, why all the hate? Its main selling point the nose, which is lovely. The downside is the palate that betrays its young age and feels a bit washed out, but we’ve grown to expect this from entry level malts. An easy evening sipper, very presentable and a good introductory single malt. As for the cask, I believe it has some sherry influence, but the abundance of vanillin and pepper reveals young bourbon or even virgin oak casks were used.