The Glenlivet 18 year old

18 years old, 43% ABV, American & European Oak, Speyside, Scotland 

One of the first single malts I ever owned was The Glenlivet 18 year old. A few years back I had family travelling through London and they knew I had a thing for whisky. They kindly picked up a bottle for me, opting for something they’d heard of, so I was pretty chuffed when this arrived.

Glenlivet 18

One thing you note when you pick up this bottle is how solid it is. The box is made of sturdy matte-finished card and the bottle of heavy glass – complete with a thick base reminiscent of a quality whisky tumbler.

Glenlivet 18 box

The rear of the box has a few paragraphs on the founding history of The Glenlivet (not shown), along with these tasting notes. I’m not sure I agree with all of the notes, but they’re a nice touch and it’s fun to have something to compare against.

Glenlivet thistle

The Glenlivet thistle motif (I’m pretty sure it’s a thistle) can be found in numerous places on the bottle and packaging. I’ve contacted The Glenlivet to try and find out its significance, but nothing to report just yet.

Did you know… 

To protect their stocks from the risk of fire, The Glenlivet store their maturing casks – they currently have over 65,000 – in a number of different locations all over Scotland.


Quite a soft nose with hints of apples, pears and really muted sherry notes. There are some floral notes hidden in there and traces of spice. I also get an intriguing sourness, almost like a sour apple candy or maybe apple cider vinegar.

After a good 15 to 20 minutes in the glass the nose shows some mildly sweet notes to go along with the sourness (reminds me of a Fino sherry).


Starts with an oily, tongue coating mouth feel of soft fruit sweetness which gives way to some spice. I got some bitter nutty notes in the background, almost like citrus peel and almonds. Quite a nice balance between sweet, sour and spice.


A mid length finish with some throat warmth, lingering creamy mouth feel (from the American Oak I suspect) and a drying oak bitterness with hints of spice.


After I received this bottle I went on to buy other things and so it remained unopened for quite a while. Looking back on it, that was probably a good thing as I don’t know I would have fully appreciated it straight away.

Despite the liquid amber-ish colour which suggests a noticeable sherry influence, I found The Glenlivet 18 year old to be a rather light and delicate whisky, with a surprisingly complex nose.

One thought on “The Glenlivet 18 year old

  1. Pingback: The Glenlivet 12 year old | The Whisky Ledger

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