Bought: Morrisons, 19th May 2015
78.5/100 – Whisky Bible 2017
76.63/100 – Whiskybase (based on 32 member votes)
When it was discovered that the Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve was replacing the 12yo, I was amused to read on forums at the number of people intending to rush out and stock up on the old version. Really?! I don’t remember it being that good. The Founder’s Reserve may only score a lowly 76.63 on Whiskybase but the 12yo is hardly miles ahead with 77.36/100 from 333 votes. Comments for the 12yo suggest it was an ‘average’ and ‘entry-level’ whisky. That’s hardly scary boots for the Founder’s Reserve to fill.
Jim Murray in his Whisky Bible is quite damning about the Founder’s Reserve. He remarks “really can’t believe what a shy and passionless whisky this is (not to mention flawed). The strength gives the game away slightly as to where the malt is positioned. But I had hoped for a little more than malty tokenism.” His score of 78.5/100 is one less than the discontinued 12yo but still in the same category of “average, and usually pleasant but sometimes flawed”.
One thing you can count on is that long established distilleries like Laphroaig, Macallan and Glenlivet know their market. They know what each sector requires. In the case of the Founder’s Reserve, an average, entry-level whisky, in the low-end price bracket. And that’s exactly what it is. Available in most UK supermarkets, it’s only worth buying a bottle when it’s on special offer (around the £22-£25 mark).
Here’s Horst Luening with his thoughts on You Tube (March 2015):