The Glenlivet 18 years

"It is difficult to find many faults in there, although in some instances it gets fairly acidic and misses some complexity, altogether this is a friendly and easy style"

(Photo from Whiskybase)

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The Glenlivet is not the oldest distillery, that honour goes to Strathisla, but they were among the first to obtain an official licence in 1823, which is why they promote that it all began with them. The owner at that time, George Smith, courageously decided to take a different path from other heavy flavoured whiskies by making whisky that was fairly light, fruity and honey-like. Currently this character is by some considered as a common treat among Speyside distilleries. The 18-year-old expression that I will be tasting today is one of the flagships of The Glenlivet and described by them as “a gorgeous single malt that is complex, yet elegant and balanced” obtained through maturity in a combination of cask that includes first and second-fill American oak (“for tropical fruitiness“) and sherry oak (“for spicy complexity”).


Starts off with a fruity, fresh sweetness containing nectarines, oranges, and bananas. Make that lots of bananas. I surely get the tropical fruity notes that were promised. I also get a lot of American oak notes with marmalade and orange skin. The fruity notes are nicely balanced, stay fresh and deliver a reasonable complexity. (water) This brings a slighter more acidic style with orange sweets and grapefruit.


Also here are oranges, in particular freshly pressed orange juice and orange skin, fresh nectarines, less banana, and some lemon juice. I find this quite acidic at first, but it balances out with some added sweetness. (water) I can find more oranges, again it is fairly acidic, and also slightly drying. Furthermore, there is lemon juice, and lemon and orange sweets. Altogether I find this a friendly and easy style.


It is difficult to find many faults in there, although in some instances it gets fairly acidic and misses some complexity, but overall it is a nice malt. In fact, a very nice, friendly and easy malt. I like it more than one the Nadura releases that I previously tasted, which I found less complex, and it is even cheaper. So can I recommend it? Not entirely, since I believe there might be better 18-year-olds available for a similar price.

What others say

Whiskybase: 84.61 (613 votes) * Serge Valentin @Whiskyfun: 83/100 * @Whiskynotes: 83/100 * @TheWhiskeyJug: 89/100
Read for yourself

A big thanks to for sharing the sample!


these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •

Cask influence
Nose 84%
Taste 83.5%
Balance 84.5%
Depth 83%
Finish 84%