Wednesday, 14 April 2010

The Glenlivet 18 Year Old

My quest was to seek out, hunt down and purchase a bottle of The Glenlivet 18 year old whilst it was still on special offer in Waitrose. Mission complete.

I picked up the bottle for £28.49, which for an 18 year old whisky, is good value. Ultimately though, the value is in the drinking qualities.

It was sitting in my room with me, with an already open bottle of Glenfiddich 12 year old and The Glenlivet 15 year old French Oak Reserve. However, the allure of the 18 year old was too much, so I decided to open it yesterday evening whilst settling down to watch episode 3 of The Pacific. The Pacific commenced last week with two blockbuster episodes focused on the battle for Guadalcanal. Being English, the World War 2 operations in the Pacific Ocean mean little to me, it wasn't our war so to speak, so apart from the two nuclear bombs that were dropped on Japan and information picked up from the highly theatrical Peal Harbour film, it’s all pretty new to me.

The Pacific is a 10 part series and one of the most expensive ever produced. The beginning two episodes did little to introduce the characters, who were real life US Marines, part 3 however focused solely on characterisation during their downtime in Melbourne. So far, the series has been good entertainment, but after all the publicity and hype, it does seem somewhat lacking at the moment. I know that the battles of Peleliu and Iwo Jima are still to come, so hopefully the programme goes up a notch or two.

Also accompanying me during this 'me' time, was some homemade macarons with a chocolate raspberry ganaché. I recently enjoyed some Pierre Hermé macarons following his opening of a concessions stand in Selfridges in London. At £2 per macaron though, whilst out of this world, they are a divine luxury in the same category as whisky. I realised straight away whilst commencing my cooking, that there was a reason that I had paid Pierre £2 for each of his macarons. After many hours spent in the kitchen, my macarons were complete and I have to say, my efforts were sterling for a first timer. They looked like a macaron, tasted pretty much like a macaron and were thoroughly enjoyable!

So the scene is set, The Pacific, homemade macarons and The Glenlivet 18.

After recently trying The Glenlivet 15 year old French Oak Reserve  (please click here for the sampling) and finding it an enjoyable and sophisticated drink, my first thoughts were that the 18 year old was underwhelming. On the nose is the subtle hint of oak, it is not woody, rather sweet and a touch of butterscotch. Also present is the fresh smell of the garden in summer. The whisky is fairly liquid and does not stick longingly to the glass.

As ever, the proof is in the pudding. On tasting, the 18 year old is dry, a touch of oak and slightly bitter with citrus fruit zest, I did not find the finish particularly long. It had a taste of oak and the dry taste that was present on the palate.

Whilst enjoying the 18 year old, something calls me back to the 15 year old French Oak Reserve. It felt that little more complex, was more interesting and had more distinguishing flavours. I stand by my opinion that the 15 year old French Oak Reserve should be served following a rather enjoyable dinner, perhaps a well aged Longhorn rump steak for example. It deserves that setting.

On the other hand, the 18 year old feels like a whisky for all occasions. If a 12 year old is simply too young for you, then this is the one for  an everyday drinker. It does not have the sharpness of the alcohol that I have experienced with 10 or 12 year old whiskies, has slightly more complexity and in drinking an 18 year old over a 12 year old, has that touch of sophistication.

For more information on The Pacific, it can be found here -
Further information on Pierre Hermé is obtainable here -

More information on The Glenlivet can be found here -

1 comment:

  1. well you are well 400 now on FB, its all my fault.
    great blog though, i love the part where you and GL 18 were sitting in the room together, it telling you to drink me!