The Glenlivet 15 Years Old is in perfect balance between fruit-forward young malts and contemplative malts with considerable cask aging. The best of both worlds showing a well-defined nose and palate reminiscent of fruit underlined by oak spices, charred smoke and the slightest hints of peat smoke. The distillery uses French Limousin oak for this one, adding to the malt a cognac feel. Without a doubt, this is a wonderful middle-ranged malt to please all palates.
The Glenlivet 15 Years Old offers a layered nose. First, there’s the bruised golden apples and a honeycomb richness followed by dried orange peels and a pleasing array of oak spices, vanilla and light caramel.
The palate is more than enjoyable; it’s luscious and vast; there’s an underlying creaminess carrying the flavors of candied fruits, caramel, and roasted almonds to the back-palate. Flavorful and full-bodied with great versatility at the table.
The long finish brings forward brown flavors of roasted nuts, caramel, dried orange peels and vanilla paste lingering long in the aftertaste.
Sip or skip?
We could describe the Glenlivet 15 in one word as balanced. There’s the fruit, but also lots of oak spices and caramel notes. It’s easy to see the Limousin oak influence, giving the expression a rich aromatic core. This is not a subtle whiskey; it’s a malt with a well-defined personality.
Other Glenlivet expressions to try
The Glenlivet Captain’s Reserve, aged in Cognac casks, has a similar body and mouthfeel compared to the distillery’s 15-Year-Old. It has much more black fruit and raisins, and has a much more overwhelming aromatic intensity, but the 15-Year-Old is closer to the Captain’s Reserve than the 12 or the 21-Year-Old.