The Glenlivet 15 French Oak Reserve was one of two bottles of whisky that I received as a Christmas present this year. While I’ve had The Glenlivet 12 on numerous occasions (along with the Glenfiddich 12, it’s most people’s starter Single Malt), I am just starting to get familiar with their 15 year old expression. This particular Speyside whisky has an ABV of 40% and is matured in new French Limousin Oak barrels rather than the traditional used barrels which are used to mature most Single Malt Scotch whiskies.
- Color: Golden honey.
- Aroma: Dried fruit. Brandy. Could not detect any smokiness.
- Taste: Starts off peppery with hints of cinnamon. Very smooth with minimal alcohol burn. Dry finish. Mild licorice aftertaste.
After reading a bit about barrel aging on MaltManiacs.org , I discovered that French Limousin Oak is used exclusively to mature Cognac. I found this to be a very interesting fact given that I picked up some brandy notes in the nose. Overall, The Glenlivet 15 French Oak Reserve is a very enjoyable whisky. While I generally prefer a more powerful dram, this would make a fine everyday whisky. It would also be a good introductory whisky for people that have always been curious to try Single Malt Scotch, but have been put off by their occasional smokiness. I give this whisky a B-.