Glenlivet 15yo, French Oak Reserve
Single Malt Scotch Whisky
So this week will be one exploring a few sexy teenagers. If that phrase offends you, know that I use it only to provide a mis-step to those perverts who Google the term "sexy teenagers". All whiskies tasted are at least 15 years old...
The valley of the river Livet was once a place full of illicit stills until George Smith, one of these illicit stillmen, became a legal operator of a distillery. This made him kind of unpopular with his former mates. He joined with Andrew Usher, the grandfather of whisky blending, and developed 'Old Vatted Glenlivet', a vatted malt that became quite famous around the world. Lots of distilleries started using the name Glenlivet. In the 1930s Scottish writer Neil Gunn described this whisky "as a synonym for the real stuff."
THE Glenlivet had to fight a few hefty legal battles for its name. They are quite adamant about emphasising the THE in THE Glenlivet, not that it is super relevant anymore, but it once was. Glenlivet was used as a suffix for many distillery's single malt bottlings as a descriptor of the contents more than anything else. From the 1970's til 2001 Canadian drinks giant Seagram's owned the distillery.
Launched at Whisky Live Glasgow 2004, this whisky followed quickly on the heels of the much loved (by me, at least) 12yo French Oak Finish that had only been available for a short while and then vanished (You can still find bottles of the stuff, but you will pay a pretty penny for it). But do the math on the current release and you will find it well worth the money AND quite cheap in Ontario. Basically, this is the standard 12yo aged for an additional 3 years in French Limousin oak(wood used for many Cognacs)
Peardrops and perfumy impressions. Hippie oils. Sandalwood. Hyacinth and earth. Salty black licorice. Fermented plums. Under-ripe strawberries. A whisky everyone will find something different in. Quite multi-dimensional and exciting.
Sweet and medium bodied. Cognac. Tiramisu, Amaretto, almond extract. Synthetic banana flavouring. Cinnamon. Loads going on as the flavours change. Toffee chunk cookies, oat or even malted barley cookies. Tightens up in the mouth, interesting sensation. Drying to a finish leaving woodshop aromas, raspberry or ginger bitterness, and flavoured pipe tobacco.
It must be said that first of all, this bottle, and all distillery bottlings of Glenlivet for that matter, have weak cork pop sounds. Weak 'whuth' effect like flaccid flatulence, if you know what I mean. But that is where my criticisms stop. Some people have found this too sweet, some find it too puckering or whatever word you choose to use, others find it a beautiful speysider with a cognac-y twist. You decide. I don't care. I like the stuff. This is a bottle that, when dried, gets replaced on our shelves.
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