whisky-G15FOR-02Glenlivet – The 15 Year Old French Oak Reserve

On the southern flank of Glenlivet are the Cairngorms, a crowded range of mountains that contains many of Scotland’s highest peaks. Immediately to the north, casting a shadow over the glen, is the brooding presence of Ben Rinnes.

In the lawless days of whisky smuggling, Glenlivet was an isolated and dangerous place for excisemen. Illicit distilling in the glen was largely undisturbed and, as a result, unhurried. This helped to create a smoother spirit a characteristic that became a hallmark of Glenlivet whisky.

The 15 Year Old French Oak Reserve’s distinctive character is the result of selective maturation; a proportion of the spirit is matured in a selection of French Oak casks for a limited period, so as not to overpower the final result.

The Glenlivet was one of the first distilleries to use French Oak in the whisky making process, a technique that has since been imitated by many others.

Colour : Resinous Gold
Nose : Creamy and rich. Peel and candied grapefruit aromas.
Palate – round, sweet, incredibly smooth. Fruity and nutty flavours. A gentle cinnamon spiciness.
Finish – lingering with traces of toasted hazelnuts and almonds.

ABV 40% vol. 70cl

From the Glenlivet website

Review

The 15 year old French Oak reserve is tremendously popular. It’s not a complex whisky but the oak smoke does make for a distinct taste.

Nose
There’s a floral perfume, but it’s subtle. Nothing is overwhelming.

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Palate
The first thing that hits you when drinking this is that the tasting notes from the distillery completely underplay how spicy this is. It definitely delivers on the smoothness with a lovely round flavour. Then there is the French oak flavour and a great dollop of pepper.

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Finish
Velvet, smooth and a very, oaky dryness. Actually, it’s really dry.

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Overall

I love the Glenlivet 12YO. It’s one of the malts that converted me to being a whisky fan in the first place.

This older brother is smooth, and not overly complex. If this malt was a shape it would be a big, soft sphere.

There’s a vanilla and slight caramel sweetness in the aroma which converts to a bitterness in the mouth. If you like your oakiness slight rather than dominant then this will please you.

As I write, you can get this at Asda for £39.50 (although I did see it in Morrissons last Summer for under £30).