One of the many reasons why we love whisky is the care required to produce it. Not only are we impressed with the process but even more with how long it takes to make this stuff. From grain to barrel you are looking at most a week, depending on your process. Distillers would love to bottle all of their stock this quickly, and some do, but as we all know whisky needs to be aged in order to be taken seriously. Since up to 75% of a whisky’s flavor is influenced by time spent in oak, a significant number of years are required to mellow, balance and create flavor complexity. Any product that requires this much care and time is worthy of focused attention and appreciation. Today’s selection, The Glenlivet 18 Year Old is a single malt that has spent plenty of time in the cask. On to some particulars…
This Speyside malt contains about 15% oloroso aged malt with the rest in ex bourbon and refill casks. Glenlivet’s trademark clear worts lend to a spirit that isn’t grain heavy plus the lightly mineralized source water helps contribute to the Glenlivet’s trademark delicate flavor. The fruity notes of the 18 year old that are so prevalent are formed from a quick ferment of about 48 hours.
Any serious Scotch producer needs to get an 18 year old expression right, for this age is arguably a “sweet spot” in any age range, not too oaky and plenty of flavor developed. Let’s see how it stacks up…
SWC Group Review
Nose- Remarkable floral freshness balanced with musty, old oak. Cinnamon, clove and ripe apple. Brown sugar with sweet fruit. Malty with citrus zest and an underlying thread of vanilla and honey.
Taste – Burst of fruit, both ripened and citrus peel. Sweet, spicy and with a clingy mouth feel.
Finish- Thick barley grain. Long. Whiff of smoke. Nectarine and orange citrus, peach. Drying oloroso. Nice fade.
Comments- Lovely. A classic for anyone. Abundant complexity and interesting flavors. The 18 year old also happens to be one of Glenlivet’s best. Recommended.
SWC Rating – 88/100
Average Retail – $95
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