Tag Archives: Glenlivet

Glenlivet (Minmore) 1973 42-year-old

Bought: Cadenhead Online Shop, 6th April 2016

90.07/100 – Whiskybase (from 16 member votes)
88/100 – Whiskyfun
91/100 – Whiskynotes

As my whisky collection draws to a close I’m looking to tick off the remaining items on my wishlist. I haven’t bought directly from Cadenhead before but I’ve been admiring the look of their ‘small batch’ range for years. I also don’t have a single malt over 40yo. I have single grain and malted spirit but not a single malt, until now. With only 630 bottles of this Glenlivet it makes a good investment but over 90/100 on Whiskybase tells me it’s a fantastic drinking dram too.

I was wondering why Cadenhead saw fit to add ‘Minmore’ to the title of this whisky, given that’s the location of the Glenlivet distillery. Then I realised it’s because of the age of this whisky, which dates back to a time when lots of other distilleries put ‘Glenlivet’ in their names. Cadenhead are just making it absolutely clear that this single malt is from the Glenlivet, not another from the same glen.

Here are the tasting notes from Cadenhead:

Nose: Soft and juicy. Peaches, passion fruit, soft lime notes and also kiwi and watermelon. A great age whisky delivering a truly amazing nose.

Palate: More juicy fruits. For such a delicate whisky this feels very thick and rich. Olive oil, hints of Sauvignon blanc and lots of syrupy fruits coats the whole palate.

Finish: Dried citrus fruits with some soft woodiness. Creaminess grows but mingles with lots of thick tropical fruits.

Glenlivet 1973 42yo 70cl

Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve

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):

Glenlivet Founder's Reserve NAS 70cl

Glenlivet Guardians’ Chapter

Bought – The Whisky Shop, 7th November 2014

81.5/100 – Whisky Bible 2015
86.29/100 – Whiskybase (average from 128 member votes)
9/10 – Whisky Wednesday (video review below)

With my whisky interest dating back to 2013, you’ll have to forgive me for not having a big depth of knowledge when it comes to distillery publicity stunts. The Glenlivet Guardians’ Chapter is the biggest one I know, in my limited knowledge of …..ummm… one. But I think it’s a good one, whatever has happened in the past. The ‘guardians’ of Glenlivet (email list of members) spanning 37 different countries, were asked to try samples of 3 different single malts, the “Exotic”, “Classic” and “Revival”. The “Exotic” won but, only just. This became the limited release that we know as the Guardians’ Chapter.

The cunning part by Glenlivet is, with so many people involved in the selection process, they can be certain that those who chose the “Exotic” will a) buy it and b) give it a good review. But, even for those who didn’t, there’s a sense of loyalty and duty associated with buying the end product.

The Whisky Bible’s score of 81.5/100 ranks the Chapter as “good whisky worth trying” but the author summaries with “just doesn’t gel”. Some comments on Whiskybase agree with this but the overall score of 86.29/100 is extremely good. Jo of ‘Whisky Wednesday’ certainly thinks this Glenlivet is great because his score of 9/10 is one of his highest. Here he is with Ben of ‘A Dram of Day’ giving us their thoughts on You Tube (June 2016):

Glenlivet Guardians' Chapter NAS 70cl

Glenlivet ‘Nadurra’ 16-year-old batch 0313W

Bought – Sainsbury’s, 22th September 2014

88.5/100 – Whisky Bible 2016
86/100 – Best Shot Whisky Reviews
5/5 Stars – Master of Malt (from 2 ratings)

It only takes one person on a whisky forum to say “I think they’re replacing the Nadurra 16-year-old with a non-aged statement Nadurra” to put me in a panic. Even though someone else added “that’s rubbish!” I was instantly thinking I had to get another Nadurra 16yo before stocks ran out. I’m now wondering if a member of staff at Glenlivet goes around the whisky forums making these comments so idiots like me rush out and spend. If so, it worked!

I bought my first bottle of Nadurra back in May 2014, a potent 56.1% from batch number 0813Y. This latest bottle is from batch 0313W and a less feisty 54.8%. Not that I’ll notice the difference because at that strength I’ll always add a bit of water.

The Nadurra is one of the few cask strength whiskies available in the UK supermarkets, and as we approach Christmas it’s an ideal gift if you want to give a whisky drinker something different. To keep an eye on the various supermarket deals I’m still using my trusty friend mySupermarket.

Here’s Andy of Malt Box on You Tube giving his review of batch 0313W, which he scores 87/100 (April 2016):

Glenlivet Nadurra 16yo 70cl batch 0313W

Glenlivet 18-year-old

Bought – The Whisky Exchange, 27th August 2014

91/100 – Whisky Bible 2014
85/100 – Malt Maniacs (average from 4 ratings)

I always like it when the Whisky Bible says the best part of a whisky I buy is the taste. Yes, the nose is important, and the finish, and the overall balance but, call me old fashioned, I do enjoy the tasting part. Jim Murray’s score of 91/100 contains a taste rating of 23.5/25, which equates to 94/100. He says of this element “fabulous, honey-sweet and slightly sharp edge to the barley: excellent weight and mouthfeel with the honeycomb on the nose making slow but decisive incursions.” His summary says that this 18yo has greatly improved and is well worth seeking out in this form.

I only have a miniature of this Glenlivet but I’ve got my sights set on a 100cl bottle only available at certain airports. Currently a normal 70cl version of this 18yo is £58.35 but the 100cl is £65.99, which is much better value. Except, one has to have £65.99, and I’ve currently got desires on other Travel Retail whisky. The Glenlivet 18yo will have to wait its turn.

Here’s Jo of Whisky Wednesday on You Tube with his review (June 2015):

Glenlivet 18yo 5cl

Glenlivet ‘Nadurra’ 16-year-old batch 0813Y

Bought – Waitrose, 22nd May, 2014

95/100 – Whisky Bible 2014
86.85/100 – Whiskybase (average from 36 member votes)
87/100 – Ralfy, of www.ralfy.com
Review: – Ralfy – Glenlivet Nadurra 16yo – YouTube (March 2011)

I like the Glenlivet 12yo, I love the Glenlivet 15yo ‘French Oak Reserve’ and I thoroughly enjoy cask strength. It was only a matter of time before I grabbed myself a bottle of the Glenlivet Nadurra 16yo, which combines the quality I’ve come to expect from Glenlivet with the oomph of cask strength. Being first introduced in 2005, there has been at least one issue of the Nadurra (Gaelic for ‘natural’) every year since. Ralfy’s version in 2011 is 53.6%, the one in the Whisky Bible 2014 is 53%, and the bottle I bought from Waitrose last month is 56.1%. Although the Malt Maniacs haven’t reviewed my version, of the 13 releases they mention, the average is about 83-84/100. Very good indeed!

Nearly 87/100 on Whiskybase is a fantastic score where members leave comments of “very enjoyable cask strength single malt at a reasonable price.” And “it’s leagues above the 12 and 18 year olds. The nose is wonderfully intense, the mouth feel is thick and the finish makes my stomach tingle and my eyes water. Another impressive feat is that it seems to constantly improve since I opened the bottle.”

Glenlivet Nadurra 16yo 70cl

Glenlivet 15-year-old French Oak Reserve

Bought – Tesco, 2nd May 2014

91/100 – Whisky Bible 2014
82/100 – Malt Maniacs (average from 15 reviews)

Ask any whisky drinker what dram truly means whisky to them and be prepared for a variety of answers. Which single malt is at the heart of all the comparisons you do? The whisky that provides the blue print that you feel all other whiskies are a variation of? For some it’s the first whisky they ever tasted. For others it’s the whisky they feel has the balance of everything good about the drink but without being challenging in any direction. For some it might even be a blend! For me the Glenlivet 12yo is my benchmark; the malty stick in the ground where other drams radiate from.

Although I feel the Glenlivet 12yo represents my idea of the true taste of whisky, that doesn’t mean I think it’s the best. Oh no. It’s definitely an excellent tipple but part of what’s wonderful about whisky is the diversity of flavours that are available. The Glenlivet 12yo can be beaten, and an example of that is the 15yo. As you can see from the picture below, I’ve had quite a few samples and I’m beginning to wish I’d bought a 2nd bottle! It’s similar to the 12yo but with added depth of flavour and a warm hug thrown in at the finish.

For those of you with the Whisky Bible you’ll notice the 15yo scores 95/100 but I’ve indicated this as 91/100. There’s an error in the total because the individual scores are 22.5, 23, 22.5 and 23, which makes 91, not 95. Perhaps Jim Murray’s arithmetic goes to pot after a long tasting session. I know mind does!

For a video review of the Glenlivet 15yo it’s worth watching Luke Rymarz’s video here which compares the Glenlivet with the Glenfiddich 15yo. Luke mentions how the Glenlivet has a bourbon element and likens it to Makers Mark. Speaking of which, that’s another one on my shopping list!

Glenlivet 15yo 70cl

Glenlivet 12-year-old (new)

Bought – Sainsbury, 22nd October 2013

79.5/100 – Whisky Bible 2013
83/100 – Ralfy, of www.ralfy.com
Review: – Ralfy – Glenlivet 12yo – YouTube

I wasn’t intending to get a new Glenlivet until I’d finished my old bottle (about 20 years old!) but I couldn’t resist this 35cl half bottle reduced from £18 to £12. The ratings for this particular version of Glenlivet aren’t going to set the heart-a-flutter but it’s one of those regular releases you can rely upon as a decent dram. After all these years you’ve got to suspect that the staff at Glenlivet know what they’re doing. The quality is reflected in the price and vice versa. At the time I’m writing this I can also buy a 20cl bottle of Talisker 10yo from a supermarket for £12, the same price as this bigger bottle of Glenlivet. This is definitely a case of ‘you get what you pay for’. My version of that is – a nice dram for not a lot of money. The added bonus is that I’m getting a bottle with the Glenlivet name, which still carries a lot of respect as one of the big boys with history in the wonderful world of whisky.

Glenlivet 12yo 35cl

Glenlivet 12-year-old

Given as a gift many, many years ago. It’s probably not whisky any more but oxidised liquid with a vague brown colour. Sounds like a good excuse to drink it so I can get another Glenlivet for the collection! The Glenlivet 15yo ‘French Oak Reserve’ gets 95/100 in the Whisky Bible 2013. That’s likely to be reduced to about £30 by one or more of the supermarkets in the run up to Christmas. It’s on my wishlist!

A bit unfair to rate this 12-year-old given its age but here are the stats anyway:

79.5/100 – Whisky Bible 2013
83/100 – Ralfy, of www.ralfy.com
Review: – Ralfy – Glenlivet 12yo – YouTube

Glenlivet 12yo 70cl