Glenlivet 19 (Signatory Vintage 1996/2015 K&L Selection Cask #105477) Review

This is a 19 year Glenlivet matured in a 1st fill sherry butt and bottled at 46% ABV.

Nose: As odd as it sounds, I was struck with an immediate note of opening up a pack of plastic fishing worms (those of you who fish know the smell I’m talking about) – odd how fast you can lock on a scent that you’ve never encountered in a whisky before. After the plastic, heavy grape notes develop with a bit of pineapple in the background. Sherry seems a bit closed off despite the obvious heavy influence.

Palate: Same plastic worm type note with grape kool aid – much richer than the nose let on with a nice blend of spice with a nutty malt.

Finish: Nice balance of oak, cocoa, and thick sherry linger a long time.

Rating: 84/100 – Good, but didn’t open up as much as I expected. Next time will need to try a few drops of water. The plastic worm note was a bit distracting as well.

Value for the money: This retailed at $90 when K&L had it in stock, and I think that’s a pretty decent price.

Glenlivet 27 (Scott’s Selection 1977/2004) Review

This is a 27 year Glenlivet matured in an ex-bourbon cask and bottled at 53.1% ABV.

Nose: A nice blend of malt, brine, soil, under ripe bananas, strawberries, grains, oak, and a bit of lemon juice – rather perfectly balanced across the board.

Palate: Bananas, pepper, vanilla, earthy oak, malty with some clay notes developing after a bit.

Finish: Cloves, oak, pepper, and a hint of toffee – nice long finish.

Rating: 88/100 – A pretty solid example of what a good ex-bourbon cask maturation should be. Interesting fruit notes with the oak complimenting perfectly.

Value for the money: I bought into a sample split at around a $120 valuation, and I would gladly pay that for a full bottle.

Glenlivet 19 (Signatory Vintage 1995/2015 Cask #166947 Binny’s Selection) Review

This is a 19 year Glenlivet that was matured in a 1st fill sherry butt and bottled at 58.3% ABV.

Nose: Sherry heavy with blackberry preserves and orange juice concentrate. Oak comes cleanly through after a few seconds with a sharp/younger profile.

Palate: Freshly cracked peppercorns with bold oak. Thick raisiny sherry up front turning rather dry and tart on rear palate.

Finish: Sherry dries out further and oak takes over with a freshly sawn profile.

Rating: 84/100 – Sherry becomes a bit too tart/dry for me leading to the oak taking over a bit too much for my preference in palate/finish given it’s sharp profile.

Value for the money: This was $110 at Binny’s – I wouldn’t buy one at that price. I’d pay maybe $70-$80ish for this bottle.

 

Glenlivet 15 French Oak Reserve Review

This is part of the Glenlivet core lineup. It’s a 15 y ear expression that was matured in French Limousin oak casks and bottled at 40% ABV.

Nose: Very sweet and rich seasoned oak. Lots of vanilla with honey topped barley with delicate spices.

Palate: Again, sweet up front with marzipan, honey, and vanilla. Malt blended with black pepper and other spices toward rear palate. Oak becoming slightly bitter.

Finish: Short finish with seasoned oak and pepper – slightly bitter.

Rating: 85/100 – Good but could be a lot better I suspect at even 46% ABV.

Value for the money: These retail around $45 which is a fair price.

Glenlivet 33 (Signatory Vintage TWE Selection Cask 9464) Review

This is a 33 year Glenlivet that was matured in a refill sherry hogshead and bottled at 51% ABV. It was a TWE (The Whisky Exchange) barrel selection.

Nose: Loads of banana with thick, raisiny sherry – sherry masks the oak very well.

Palate: Big banana and sherry notes again with a grassy malt and aged oak.

Finish: Heats up with sherry combining with minerals and oak.

Rating: 91/100 – A nice sherry bomb – not overly complex, but very sweet and easy going.

Value for the money: This retailed for around $250, but I’d be a consumer at $150 or under for this bottle.

Glenlivet 16 (K&L Signatory Vintage 1997 selection) Review

This is a 16 year Glenlivet expression matured in a first fill sherry butt and bottled at 46% ABV. This was part of a mystery review/swap hence the cryptic label.

Nose: Very rich and sweet sherry – not quite as fruity as the Glenlivet 18, but a bit more complex with tobacco, figs, and bananas.

Palate: Smoky oak with sherry taking on a manzanilla type profile.

Finish: Bitter oak with dark fruits, slightly astringent, but lasts a long time.

Rating: 86/100 – Not quite as good as the Glenlivet 18 OB, but a very nice IB.

Value for the money: This was $80 at K&L which is a good price for this expression.

Glenlivet 18 Review

This is the 18 year expression that is part of Glenlivet’s core range. It’s finished in sherry casks and bottled at 43% ABV.

Nose: Exceptionally fruity sherry verging on a fruit punch vibe. French vanilla, toasted oak, figs, and molasses.

Palate: Peppery oak with fruit punch notes dialed down a bit. Caramelized apples and mushrooms give it a more savory character.

Finish: Short lived with vanilla, oak, fino-style sherry, and black pepper.

Rating: 88/100 – I’d love to taste this at higher proof, but a great pour nonetheless.

Value for the money: These have risen quite a bit in price over time, but it appears they’re now retailing from $80-$100+. I think it’s still a good pickup at $80 although that’s a bit on the high side considering these used to retail around $60.