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The Glenlivet 12 year old review

The Glenlivet 12 year old single malt plays a great part in my memory lane. I received a bottle of this smooth Speysider while celebrating the birth of my second kid in 2011. So my opinion might be biased because there’s lots of emotions going on with this whisky. Then again, it wasn’t only a sample, I got to enjoy a whole bottle.

12YO Glenlivet is a typical Speyside whisky, being so smooth. It is also a very fruitful dram, without being stingy. Crispy and fruity palates are usually too much for me. Fortunately this Glenlivet manages to give lots of tropical fruit notes that feel very fresh but don’t kick the back of your throat too much. There isn’t dryness either, so it’s just perfect for my taste. It’s been matured in a mix of American and European Oak casks.

Glenlivet 12 year old single malt whisky review

The Glenlivet 12YO, package from 2011. The one I got. Here’s a better view of similar kind of packaging.

Nowadays it has been replaced by Founder’s Reserve in the UK. I like both of them but Founder’s Reserve is flat when compared to this 12 year old. They do have similar kind of taste profiles though. The Glenlivet 12YO is one of the fresh and smooth fruity drams out there and I do hope, they keep it in their core range in other countries.


In my opinion this whisky is what Seth Rogen & Co are in acting, bringing fresh ways to interpret a movie script and improvising the scenes the most realistic way. And even though I didn’t like Pineapple Express as much as I enjoy this Glenlivet, I have to make a connection between these two. Pineapple being one of the key notes of this whisky.

Matured in:
American and European Oak casks
Colour: Sunlight
ABV: 40%
Nose: Like scenting some nice notes of sweet summer fragrances. Fruits and sweet, creamy vanilla. With toffee and hints of oak.
Taste: Tropical fruits and a touch of nice vanilla. As smooth as a fruity whisky can get. Delicious pineapple notes rise to the cream of the crop.
Finish: Smoothness isn’t as big as in the taste. In the finish, this dram starts to kick nicely on the back of the throat. Lingering oak and nutty notes with plenty of fruits.
Balance: Creamy thickness and warming finish, which lasts long. Nicely in balance and even though smooth, still manages to be strong and characteristic. Very good job by The Glenlivet distillery, especially with this alcohol per volume level.


Distillery: Glenlivet Region: Speyside

Looking for good glassware for your whisky? Check out my post about whisky glasses.

Johannes Lindblom
Johannes Lindblom
Finnish whisky enthusiast and the author of WhiskyRant! A digital marketing professional by day – a whisky reviewer and informer by night.

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