Wednesday, 7 April 2010

The Glenlivet 15 Year Old French Oak Reserve

As mentioned previously, I was looking to purchase the 18 year old Glenlivet as opposed to the 15 year old French Oak Reserve, however my local branch of Waitrose does not stock the 18 year old, and whilst the 15 year old is also on offer, and I was after a whisky from The Glenlivet distillery, I picked this up.

The Glenlivet is the best selling malt whisky in the United States, and the fourth best selling in the UK with a 7% market share. The Glenlivet is the world's second best selling single malt whisky, and current global sales total 6 million bottles per annum. Sales are achieved primarily across the core range of 12 Year Old, 15 Year Old French Oak Reserve, Nadurra 16 Year Old, 18 Year Old, 21 Year Old and XXV 25 Year Old. The distillery produces enough whisky to fill 6 million bottles per annum.

It was founded in 1824 and markets itself as "The single malt that started it all." Within the packaging is wrapping with a print of the original distiller's licence, which made The Glenlivet one of the first legal distilleries.

The 15 year old French Oak Reserve is matured in traditional oak casks and specially coopered new French Limousin oak casks which are commonly used for Cognacs. The alliance between the new French oak and the traditional oak results in a balanced whisky with the hint of oak.

As you approach the 15 year old French Oak Reserve, you note the present of oak in the air, not strong, not overpowering, but pleasantly on the nose. Move in a little closer and a sweet smell of vanilla and a touch of citrus zest make headway towards you.
Raise the glass a little further, touching your lips and you begin to enjoy this pleasant whisky. It has a buttery feel on the tongue, velvety, with the faint taste of wood which is always present. It develops with a hint of spice and a slight bitterness like a good quality dark chocolate.

It has a lingering finish with again the hint of spice. Again, the pleasant presence of the oak is there. 

Overall, I have enjoyed this whisky. It has a touch of sophistication and has more complexity that is not found in a 12 year old, it is very pleasant on the palate. I can see this being served after dinner. Your guests would be very pleased that you have generously offered it. It does not come across as showy, but it does offer that step up from a younger whisky or a perhaps a blend, which is sure to impress.

That is not to say that you cannot also enjoy it alone once it is opened after that dinner party. It wouldn’t be an everyday drinker, it feels too sophisticated, too deserving for that, but it is definitely one that you could sit down to occasionally, for that special occasion, or perhaps to finish a particularly long week. Obviously presuming that week in, week out you do not have long weeks!

Please however, be warned...I saw somewhere online that someone was displeased that this whisky came in a glass bottle and not in French Oak! 

More information on The Glenlivet can be found here -

1 comment:

  1. Have added you as a link on my site altho still prefer the malts of Islay.