Age vs. NAS round 3: Glenlivet 12 vs Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve

We’re already halfway through the Big Blind Tasting as Oliver Klimek has dubbed this experiment. At first I was very enthusiastic about joining it, but when the samples arrived I couldn’t really get myself to try them. Mostly because I don’t want to drink too much and there is so much to try that’s a lot better than entry level stuff that we tried a decade ago.

Of course, I had to put all snobbery aside to see if my tasting skills actually amount to something. The club‘s Blind Tasting Competition has told me it doesn’t when it’s random. Now it’s less random and I am only at a 50/50 score.

The third round was a very standard Glenlivet 12 and their newest counterpart, the Founder’s Reserve. This is an interesting one since contrary to the previous two rounds where the whiskies are allowed to coexist, in this case the 12 year old is being phased out from certain markets due to supply problems (and money, most likely).

Image from WhiskybaseWhile I have never bought much Glenlivet (some indies, a Nadurra here and there) I actually quite like the distillery’s product. I think I’ve never had one that was bad, and while not all of them are overly interesting, it’s a very consistent product of a company that seems to deserve being one of the larger ones.

Sample A3A. Glenlivet 12 years old, 40%

The nose didn’t have much vanilla, which might happen in those standard releases. Lots of citrus fruits, sweet with lemon curd. Also some spicy herbal notes, heather mostly. The palate is smooth and rather sweet. Fruity with more lemon curd. Heather, soft bread and oak. The finish is a little more spicy, pepper. Less lemon than before and of medium length.

Image from WhiskybaseSample A3B. Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve, 40%

This nose has more oak and is a bit sharper. More spirity with mostly oak, and a hint of vanilla. The palate is gentle with some pepper and oak. It does have some sharpness, and is rather simple with a touch of grass. The finish suddenly has more weight and shows a hint of chocolate.

In this case I didn’t really have a preference. The first is a very well made dram with a high level of consistency. The second is more spirity (and obviously the NAS one, in my opinion) but also has some interesting bits. It’s less consistent but not bad at all.

So, no preference and a guess to which is the NAS whisky. In this case I think we might be lucky that the Glenlivet 12 is not being pulled from Dutch markets, as far as I know. So far only the United Kingdom and Germany are getting cut from their supply.

I am not entirely sure, but I think at the time of tasting I thought this might be Glenlivet since the 12 year old is a quite lemony dram, as I seemed to remember. Good stuff, this!

Short review: I drank both of them.

Glenlivet 12, 40%
Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve, 40%

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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