40 Whiskies Under $40: The Glenlivet 15 French Oak Reserve

William Wallace Doesn't Scream FrenchA bottle of George Smith’s Finest The Glenlivet 15 French Oak Reserve

The Glenlivet.  Or The Real Glenlivet.  There’s not much I can say about the distillery that hasn’t already been written somewhere.  The distillery was established in 1824 and has generally been killing it since.  So much so that until The Glenlivet fought for it, many whisky brands appended “Glenlivet” to their name just to try and get some positive glow from the brand name affiliation.  Even Macallan did it.   But that was then and this is now.  Does the legend hold?

The Glenlivet 15 Year French Oak Reserve

Half Full?  One Large Gulp To AnotherThe Glenlivet 15 French Oak Reserve

Color: a pale, pale gold

Nose: Strong brown sugar.  Almonds, vanilla, some freshly baked raisin bread and spearmint.  very delicious nose. there is a little bit of pine there, too.  Though you have to search for it.
Palate: very chewy.  a decent amount of oak and the raisin bread (though slightly less sweet) is still there.  a new cinnamon butter cookie is present, but there’s not as much favor as the nose promises.  Even with that, it’s very easy to drink.
Finish: the finish is very nice.  it’s long, drying, with an underlying sweetness and a minty tinge on top.  The finish lasts quite a bit.  A long drying sweet tinged deliciousness.
Overall: So the legend still holds.  This is a really delicious dram.  It’s one of those whiskies that surprises you with its drinkability, just because the flavor is somewhat complex and layered, but easily approachable.  It’s a great dessert dram and a price point of under $40 for a 15 year old whisky is pretty damn great.  Price paid: $39.99

Other Opinions:

  • Whiskyboys also like the dram, though find more wood than I did.  They all found it sweet, though.
  • The venerable Dr. Whisky finds loads in the nose from hippie oils to salty black licorice and contends that everyone will find something different.  Well put.  He also gets the dry finish but finds more in the palate than I do and equated Glenlivet cork popping sounds with flatulence.  Methinks the good Dr. enjoyed the whisky a bit much that night (though truth be told, there is NOT a satisfying pop on my bottle).
  • The average on For Peat Sake is a low 78 with descriptors like “Not Offensive” and “too much alcohol”, which frankly confuses me but so be it.
  • Peat and Smoke finds oak and spice as well, but agrees on some of the sweeter notes.  He thinks its too sophisticated and complex for a daily drinker.  Take that, stereotypes.

- StrongLikeCask

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