Whisky comes in all shapes and sizes. Single malt Scotch, which is a particular discipline of whisky from Scotland, also has tons of variables. The first and most obvious is how long it was aged. Next you can start to look at what type of barrel it was aged in and ask if it was aged in more than one type. More and more Scotches are being “finished” in a second type of oak. Often these are barrels that once held sherry, Port, or some other sort of wine or spirit. Many though are aged in a single barrel type. The Glenlivet, which has a history dating to 1824, is one of the most widely available single malts across the U.S. Their portfolio offers a broad range of Scotches to whet the appetites of various palates and budgets. Here’s a look at one of their most popular, available, and value packed offerings.
The Glenlivet 15 Year Old French Oak Reserve Single Malt Scotch — This Scotch was aged in select French oak for a period of time. The barrels used are made from Limousin oak. Barrels from this region are best known for their use in maturing cognac and fine wines. The Glenlivet 15 has a suggested retail price of $55. The orange tinged golden hue of this Scotch is striking the moment you pour it into your glass. Apricot and toasted Marcona almond are the most prominent aromas to emerge from the gregarious nose of this Scotch. Golden raisin, caramel, hazelnut, and light chocolate notes are all evident on the super expressive palate of the Glenlivet 15. The finish is remarkably long and smooth with fruitcake spices, restrained fruit, and a kiss of creamy clover honey.
When it comes to single malt Scotches, the variety on our shelves is increasing all the time. It’s terrific to have choices and to try different expressions from lots of producers. It’s also wonderful to have things which remain consistent in quality, value, and drinkability that we can count on year after year. The Glenlivet 15 is such a Scotch. In the 15-year-old single malt category, its level of sophistication, finesse and overall value is hard to beat. Many other Scotches which meet all of those criteria in the 15-year-old tier are far more expensive than Glenlivet. That’s good enough reason to reach for it. The most important reason, though, is that’s it’s a terrific Scotch worth sipping time and again. It’s approachable and delicious when sipped neat all by itself. It will however, work exceedingly well when paired with a variety of nuts and dried fruits.