Glenlivet 1981 Royal Wedding Reserve 25 Year

Scotch Whisky Review #299: Glenlivet 1981 Royal Wedding Reserve 25 Year

Distillery: Glenlivet.

Region: Speyside

Age: 25 year. Bottled in 1981 which puts the distillation date around 1956.

ABV: 43.0%

Color: 1.2, Chestnut/Oloroso Sherry.


Nose: It smells stronger than a 43%-er, with a little bit of sinus clearing from the first whiff of the glass. It quite oak-forward with a bit of stewed fruit right at the first. There does come some notes of sherry and green grapes along with a light floral perfume, heather is what stands out the most.

Palate: Much like the nose, it seems to hit harder than a 43%-er should. It has a really thick mouthfeel and sits around quite nicely. Caramel is the main note along with bits of sherry to spruce things up. Citrus, mainly lemons, pops in as well. It’s lightly grassy with a nice helping of oak. A touch of dark chocolate shavings comes through towards the end.

Finish: Medium in length. It’s quite creamy, almost to a cheesy level of cream. It has a near provolone cheese aftertaste, which is quite different and nice. Oak and a hint of heather wrap things up.


Conclusion: This Glenlivet was bottled in celebration of the 1981 Royal Wedding of Lady Diana and Prince Charles and it seems to give a good representation of what Glenlivet can be. The nose is quite lovely with a mix of fruits, stewed and fresh, along with some light floral notes. The palate, while a touch simplistic, provides a nice variety of sweets that is balanced by a bit of lemon and oak. The finish is probably my favorite part, with tons of almost cheesy cream notes to give this whisky a bit of lift. All and all, this was a really fun one to try and quite tasty to boot.

Final Score: 85.

Scotch Whisky Review #299, Speyside Review #111, Whisky Network Review #442


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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