Review: The Glenlivet 15 Years Old French Oak Reserve single malt scotch whisky

The Glenlivet Distillery – Pernod Ricard

40% ABV

£38.77 for 70cl from Master of Malt

Score: 85/100

the-glenlivet-15-year-old-french-oak-reserve-whisky

What they say:

Character: The rich and exotic one
Colour: Deep and intense gold
Nose: Creamy and rich with buttery notes
Palate:
Fruity, nutty flavours
Finish: Lingering trace of sweet almonds and hints of spice

Craft facts
The 15 Year Old’s distinctive character is the result of selective maturation; a proportion of the spirit is matured in a selection of French Oak casks for a limited period, so as not to overpower the final result.

The Glenlivet was one of the first distilleries to use French Oak in the whisky making process, a technique that has since been imitated by many others.

Limousin Oak, which is cut in the Dordogne region of France, is often used to mature fine wines and cognacs. In the case of The Glenlivet, its low density allows the spirit to penetrate deep into the wood, imparting the expression’s distinctive spiciness.

The French Oak also increases the intensity of the whisky, resulting in a richer and creamier finish.

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What I say:

Sampled 25th February 2015 during The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve launch tasting held at The Whisky Shop on Victoria Street in Edinburgh. As well as The W Club’s regular members, a special invitation had gone out to The Glenlivet Guardians to come along and get the first sampling of the new Founders Reserve alongside a tasting of the core range at this special tasting.

Colour:

Full amber gold (10/20) numerous medium tears

Nose:

Toffee oak, caramel, fudge, Tannic like old tea, fruity apple and peach, Calvados, vanilla, cinnamon spice

Taste:

Again toffee’d oak wood to the fore, more mixed orchard fruits, apple, pear, peach, very smooth in mouthfeel, cinnamon spiced espresso coffee or reduced cappuccino, some nutmeg too, a nutty almond and hazelnut, like hazelnut-latte, the strong tannin/old tea on the nose is much more integrated and softer here though some faint liquorice was detected indicative of the overly-tannic French oak casks

Finish:

Long and spicy, more coffee, cinnamon and nutmeg

Overall:

I really enjoyed this expression. I have a fondness for French Oak and I love my red wine to be particularly oaky too. It can easily be overdone  and my concern was The Glenlivet spirit being too soft and gentle, I needn’t have worried. This is really well put together, balanced and not too deep in flavour as to be challenging.