The Glenlivet distillery is located in the Speyside town of Ballindalloch, Banffshire and was founded officially in 1824 when George Smith received his licence to distill.

After initially renting a small farm for the purpose, the current distillery was built in 1858.

1880 Saw the granting of the sole right to use the name "The Glenlivet" after many other distilleries in the area had started using "Glenlivet" after their own distillery name(s) to infer quality.


Glenlivet merged with Glen Grant in 1953 to form The Glenlivet & Glen Grant Distilleries Ltd.

Glenlivet was taken over by Seagram of Canada in 1977 who then merged Glenlivet with Chivas Brothers in 1983 to form The Chivas and Glenlivet Group.

The Chivas and Glenlivet Group was taken over by Pernod Ricard in 2001 and they remain the owners today (2011).



More great distillery info here, thanks to Malt Madness

  My thanks to Alan Jamieson for permission to use the distillery photos  



The Glenlivet (OB)

General whisky characteristics: Complex and fruity, often summer fruits


The Glenlivet 12y, 40% ABV

Issued around 2006-7

Typical cost of this bottle;


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Warm gold

Nose: Quite sweet, fruity, malt and a hint of fresh oak

Palate: Creamy malt and fruit. The actual fruit was hard to determine, but perhaps that's because it was more like a good, old-fashioned fruit cocktail.

With 3 drops of water: The nose is more aromatic with concentrated fruit, but the palate is too weakened.

Finish: Medium to long

Overall Impression: A very nice, standard and fruity 12y malt, but better without the water.



The Glenlivet 15y, 'French Oak', 40% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle;


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Rich gold, oak

Nose: Sweet wood, nuts, marzipan, a little fruit and a touch of red wine.

Palate: Smooth, slightly sweet, some fruit (mainly berries) and a hint of marzipan.

Finish: Long with faint marzipan and a hint of red wine.

Overall Impression: Not earth-shattering, but a good, honest, smooth and very drinkable fruity whisky with a hint of red wine on the finish.



The Glenlivet 18y, 43% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle;


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Amber

Nose: Rich Summer fruits, slightly toasted oak and a mixture of berries.

Palate: Definite berries, some nuts and a rich creamy mouth-feel.

With 3 drops of water: Over a few minutes this opens into a very aromatic fruity whisky and is that a tiny hint of smoke too?

Finish: Very long with fruity malt and just a slight hint of coconut.

Overall Impression: I really like Glenlivet 18y, a very good whisky.



The Glenlivet, 18y, 43% ABV

2011 edition?

Typical cost of this bottle;

Reviewed (blind) as part of MMA 2011


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Rich dark cork.

Nose: Very creamy sensation, in fact creamy vanilla ice cream. After 2-3 minutes there are some quite sherried hints including light fruit and a definite woodiness.

Palate: Malty vanilla followed by fruit cocktail, maybe even including custard? This turns dry as it leads into the finish.

Finish: Long, woody and slightly dry.

Overall Impression: Uncomplicated, fruity wood, very drinkable and very pleasant.



The Glenlivet XXV, 43% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle;


Nose: Very slightly menthol oak

Palate: Exceptionally smooth, walnuts and pecan nuts with a background of butterscotch. Very long and gentle finish.

Overall Impression: Delightfully drinkable. The best dram of the day at the recent Munich whisky festival. Only the price prevents me from running out and immediately buying a bottle or three.





The Glenlivet Nadurra, 16y, Cask Strength, 57.2% ABV

Issued around 2006-7

Typical cost of this bottle;


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: 21 carat gold

Nose: Malt, straw and a little leafy with a hint of smoked bacon.

Palate: Lots of fruit (mainly orange, peach & apricot) but also a richness that's hard ot identify and sits somewhere between toffee and liquorice.

With 3 drops of water: A lighter and more aromatic nose now has floral and perfumed notes and just a hint of sun cream. The palate is now an explosion of coconut, fruit and (red) candy floss.

With 4 more drops of water: Still a light and aromatic nose but that explosion on the palate has been tamed into very smooth, gentle fruit.

Finish: Very long.

Overall Impression: I love it and be sure to add just a drop or two of water for maximum effect!



The Glenlivet Nadurra, 16y, Cask Strength, 54.2% ABV

Batch No.11091 (2010)

Typical cost of this bottle;



Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Bright yellow gold

Nose: Apricot, peach and butterscotch with a faint malty background and just a hint of freshly-polished wood. As the minutes progress the butterscotch increases.

Palate: White pepper on the sides of the palate whilst apricot and butterscotch dominate the centre. This also has a very creamy mouth-feel.

With 4 drops of water: The nose is much lighter and the palate has more wood and pepper whilst the fruit decreases.

Finish: Long and fruity, more pepper with the water added.

Overall Impression: Nice, very nice.



The Glenlivet Nadurra", Cask Strength, 54.9% ABV

Bottled 10.2010, Batch No.1010K

Typical cost of this bottle;

Reviewed (blind) as part of MMA 2011


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Pale yellow gold.

Nose: An initial light fruitiness develops further with time in the glass and eventually includes hints of malted biscuit. After more time there's a hint of freshly polished wood, maybe even silver polish and then more fruitiness.

Palate: Lots of creamy vanilla, peach and light exotic fruits followed by a gentle pepperiness. It's subdued but it still offers plenty.

Finish: Medium to long.

Overall Impression: Most enjoyable but unusually subdued.



The Glenlivet Nadurra", 48% ABV

Bottled 02.2020, Batch No.OLO220

Matured in First Fill Oloroso Casks

Typical cost of this bottle;


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Golden Oak

Nose: When I originally opened this bottle my first impression was of gently toasted apple pie (or crumble) but now, a couple of days later it's a little more musty rather than toasted but the fruitiness of apple or perhaps pear is still apparent. There's also a woodiness alongside that fruitiness..

Palate: That musty fruitiness makes for a very mouth-coating experience and we're back to a suggestion of apple pie or crumble as there's a hint of pastry-ness. But there's something else amongst that pastry-ness which reminds me Bakewell tart ..... a hint of almond maybe?

Finish: Long

Overall Impression: I love the general fruitiness of Glenlivets and this is no exception, albeit just a little different.





The Glenlivet, "The Master Distiller's Reserve", 40% ABV


A Travel Retail special edition

Typical cost of this bottle;

Reviewed (blind) as part of MMA 2011


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Shiny cork

Nose: An initial suggestion of barn or cowshed are not too unpleasant and develop into fruity malt and a creamy grassiness.

Palate: A slightly thin and watery mouth-feel is quite dry and offers leafy malt, faint fruit and some vanilla, but it's all quite light and subdued.

Finish: Medium to long and quite dry.

Overall Impression: How this could do with a few more % abv to overcome that wateriness.



The Glenlivet, "Founders Reserve", 55.6% ABV

Bottle No.1391 of 1824

Typical cost of this bottle;

Reviewed (blind) as part of MMA 2011


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Rich dark cork or even dark oak.

Nose: Some initial suggestion of toasted vanilla and coconut but the toasted effect fades quickly to leave a fruitiness with vanilla, bramble, blueberry and some aged oak. A light nuttiness develops after 5-6 minutes.

Palate: A peppery nuttiness initially prevails which suggests green peppercorns and hazelnuts, then comes a rich and complex mixture of fruits which is very luxurious on the palate.

Finish: Very long, very rich and very nice.

Overall Impression: I want more of this "Great" from The Glenlivet!




The Glenlivet, "Josie", 17y, bottled 14.11.2011, 57.5% ABV

Cask 4014

Typical cost of this bottle;

Dram-atics "Classics" review


Glass: Glencairn

Colour: Rich dark gold

Nose: Lots of rich fruit, just like a good Glenlivet should be with orange, lime and even some hints of fresh coffee beans.

Palate: There's some tender woodiness on the palate but in the fore are cappuccino & orange.

Finish: Long.

Overall Impression: I love the typical fruitiness of Glenlivet, but with the coffee too? Very nice indeed and a pleasant surprise.





The Glenlivet (IB)


Blackadder, Glenlivet, 33y, 53% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle;

Reviewed as part of MMA 2011


Glass; Classic Malt

Colour; Bright cork

Nose; Initially fresh and leafy with the freshness expanding over time in the glass to include some woody and slightly antiseptic notes. After more time it becomes much more floral and also includes vanilla and hints of nuts and sandalwood.

Palate; Suggestions of baked apple and apricot with vanilla sauce and a sprinkle of black pepper. Then comes marzipan and a selection of mixed fruits and nuts.

Finish; Long with light pepper and fruity nuts.

Overall Impression; Don't be put off by my comments about the nose, this is a wonderful whisky with many different facets, but all pretty well in harmony.





BBR Glenlivet, 1982-2009, 52.2% ABV

Exclusive bottling for Germany

Original cost of this bottle;


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Teak with a tinge of copper

Nose: First comes the almond / amaretto, then dark cherries, wood and something herbal and very aromatic which reminds me of cardomom seed. After 4-5 minutes an almost minty freshness appears in the background.

Palate: Very creamy mouth-feel with oodles of well-balanced wood and fruit, think dark cherries and light figs, followed by oatmeal biscuits.

With 4 drops of water: Very aromatic fruit bursts onto the nose alongside the wood. The palate is softer, creamier and fruitier.

With a further 4 drops of water: The nose now has candy floss alongside the aromatic wood. Then comes bramble and raspberry wrapped in marzipan. The palate now includes white pepper, marzipan and raspberry.

Finish: Very long. Without the water there's lots of fruit and wood and hints of coffee beans and dark chocolate right at the end.  It's also slightly dry. With water it has lighter fruit liek raspberry, but some pepperiness too.

Overall Impression: Another marvellous Glenlivet sherry cask. I adore this whisky!

I've had the chance to revisit this whisky in December 2011

Glass; Classic Malt

Colour; Very deep amber

Nose; Rich and deep with dark fruits and lots of wax polish. Very rich indeed in a light kind of way.

Palate; Creamy and lightly peppery, then fruity with hints of coconut and all lightly sherried.

Finish; Long, lively and richly fruity.

Overall Impression; Lots happening, excellent!



BBR Glenlivet, 34y, 1979-2014, 49.1% ABV

Exclusive bottling for the Lung Family

Cask No.19560

Original cost of this bottle;


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Yellow gold

Nose: Light and fruity with faint leafiness, marzipan and vanilla.

Palate: Mild pepperiness gives this a gentle tingle on the palate alongside that leafiness and marzipan from the nose. The fruitiness is now reminiscent of apple, maybe even baked apple crumble and is that a hint of cinnamon too?

Finish: Long, fruity and leafy.

Overall Impression: A rather good bourbon cask whisky with the typical fruitiness of a Glenlivet.



BBR Glenlivet, 30y, 1983-2013, 58.8% ABV

Cask No.2877

Original cost of this bottle;


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Just like a light lager beer

Nose: Lots of green apple fruitiness alongside faint coconut and even a hint of liquorice.

Palate: Yes, definitely suggestions of coconut on the palate with mild liquorice and summer berries, in fact it's almost like those coconut wheels in liquorice allsorts.

Finish: Long with more coconut and liquorice.

Overall Impression: Liquorice Allsorts? Nice.





Coopers Choice Glenlivet, 11y, 1998-2010, 46% ABV

Cask Ref. 126874, single sherry cask

Typical cost of this bottle;


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Teak

Nose: Typical sherry cask attributes with dark fruits (raisins, currants, plums) leather and aged oak, but also with a suggestion of lightly toasted apricots & berries.

Palate: Those lighter fruit notes definitely come through on the palate with lots of apricot, peach and berries, but all apparently marinated in an old oak tub of sherry with marzipan and (other) nuts.

Finish: Long, fruity sherry.

Overall Impression: A sherry cask Glenlivet? The light fruit notes that are synonymous with Glenlivet combine excellently with the richer sherry attributes to provide a very good whisky. I really, really like this one!





Signatory, The Glenlivet, 14y, 25.6.1996 - 17.6.2011, 55.4% ABV

Sherry Butt, Cask No.105516, bottle No.85 of 526

Typical cost of this bottle;

Reviewed (blind) as part of MMA 2011


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Rich dark amber.

Nose: Strange; an initial but thankfully quickly fading sense of wooded baby vomit. The woodiness then expands to remind me of an old dilapidated pier, sea-shore and a light hint of rubberiness.

Palate: A much better palate than the nose here as I detect aged wood, peppery coconut, a fruitiness mainly comprising apricot & peach, followed by distinct almond.

Finish: Long and fruity with a rich woodiness.

Overall Impression: That initial note on the nose let it down just a little, but this faded quickly and for certain, the palate is wonderful, so an excellent whisky all the same.



Signatory, The Glenlivet, bottled for Taiwan, 20y, 57.3% ABV

Distilled 30.10.1995, bottled 21.01.2016

Sherry Butt, Cask No.166956, one of 564

Original cost of this bottle;


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Teak

Nose: Very aromatic but also quite piercing with lots of typical sherry cask notes including aged wood, leather and antique books. In fact what I sometimes referto as an old English study. There's also some nuttiness.

Palate: Rich dark fruitiness like raisins, plums, damson and cherries. Also that nuttiness from the nose now appearing like marzipan but there's also a (black) peppery tingle.

5-6 Drops of water: The nose is now more woody and the palate a little more subdued with no pepperiness and quite a bit of character lost.

Finish: Long, shorter with the water.

Overall Impression: Big, strong and fierce sherry cask that's much better without the water.



Signatory, The Glenlivet, bottled for Taiwan, 20y, 58.9% ABV

Distilled 30.10.1995, bottled 20.01.2016

Sherry Butt, Cask No.166948, one of 548

Original cost of this bottle;


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Rich dark amber

Nose: Rich aromas but still quite fresh with hints of Oriental or Indian herbs and spices. Also new leather and banana stem.

Palate: Now we have lots of lovely typical sherry cask notes including dark fruits (raisins, currants, prunes, maybe figs too), leather and furniture polish but all quite fresh and clean.

Finish: Very long

Overall Impression: Rich and fresh, delightful sherry cask.












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