Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve

I admit I don’t have much experience with official releases of The Glenlivet. I will try to remember that the next time I order a bunch of samples.

Anyway here’s the Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve, launched in March and named in honour of the distillery’s founder, George Smith. It is supposed to replace the pretty iconic Glenlivet 12 Year Old by summer. One of the best selling malt whiskies in the world is replaced, at least in a bunch of key markets.

When people lamented over this news, Glenlivet’s brand ambassador said the Founder’s Reserve is ‘more vibrant than the 12 Year Old. People judge whisky by age, but you should judge it by taste’. Please, not that stupid excuse again, especially when the price and age went in opposite directions!

It is a mix of predominantly first-fill and some refill American oak casks.

Glenlivet Founder's ReserveGlenlivet ‘Founder’s Reserve’

(40%, OB 2015)

Nose: full of very young whisky aromas. Banana, lots of pear drops and pineapple sweets. Orange cubes. Quite attractive, but a bit synthetic, with a hint of Revell glue to make it complete. Coconut flakes. Citrus notes, vanilla and light grassy / minty touches as well. Mouth: light and malty. The same pear sweets and oranges. Becomes more zesty and caramelly after a while. Hints of sawdust and nutmeg. Increasingly drier and spicier. Ends on a beer note. Finish: shortish and pretty generic (spicy oak, coconut and vanilla).

On its own, this is a thin, accessible malt whisky with no rough edges but no personality either. That may be an asset for some audiences. Around € 35.

Score: 76/100

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