Glenlivet 12 Year First Fill

Scotch Whisky Review #173: Glenlivet 12 Year First Fill

Distillery: Glenlivet

Cask Type: First fill American oak casks

Price: $58

ABV: 43.2%

Age: 12 Year

Color: 0.8, Deep Gold.


Nose: (according to the wife) It’s really light and fruity. There’s boozy poached pears, pineapple, and a bunch of orange zest.

Palate: Light and sweet mouthfeel. The first note out of the gates is of some lovely well baked shortbread. The poached pears from before are present again along with something very silky and smooth. It’s almost like a very silky caramel but it’s not quite the full caramel taste, maybe more of a sugar syrup. Following that comes an orange liqueur note that reminds me of Grand Marnier.

Finish: Medium in length. It’s got a bit of ethanol kick but it’s a trace amount and not enough to make it unpleasant. That silky sugar syrup continues on along with a lot of lemon zest.

Conclusion: In Korean, we have a saying that translates to “still alive” (살아있네!) which basically means that they’ve “still got it”. I’ve been pretty critical of modern Glenlivet but this whisky shows that they are very much “still alive”. The nose is light and delightful with the fruity notes. The poached pears and orange liqueur in the palate go together so very well and that bit of sugar syrup just enhances it. The finish is a little weak but the fresh lemon zest right at the end is lovely. I’d love to see what this would do with a few extra years in the barrel, I hope Glenlivet didn’t dump out all of what was in their first fill casks and we’ll end up seeing a 15 and 18 year edition in the coming years. Would I buy another both? Yes.

Final Score: 80.

Scotch Whisky Review #173, Speyside Whisky Review #71, Whisky Network Review #236


Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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