The Glenlivet 15 years old French Oak Reserve
History of The Glenlivet distillery and its single malts are known to all. It is the oldest legal distillery in Scotland which is still producing single malts. It started out in 1824 with George Smith obtaining the distiller’s license, and has been on, except during World War II, ever since.
Moray in Scotland is home to The Glenlivet. And as it is with all single malts and whiskies, it is the raw materials which make all the difference, the water in particular. In The Glenlivet’s case it was the Speyside river of Livet which does the trick. Josie’s Well is the natural spring which fuels the power of the whisky.
We tried the 15 year old French Oak Reserve from The Glenlivet’s classic collection. Maturation and aging in Limousin French Oak is obviously the highlight of the whisky which not only does it add an all pervasive smoothness but also distinctive vanilla notes. The distillery is one of the first to experiment with French oak and to great success; many other whisky distilleries have followed suit. The oak is less dense allowing the spirit to permeate through the wood and extract crucial flavors from it.
Nose: Soft and gentle with a butteriness which makes the aromas a pleasure to experience. With the creaminess sweet spice notes of cinnamon and cloves emanate along with the vanilla. There are hints of floral notes along with woody notes from the oak. The nose reminds you of apple pie.
Palate: The smoothness of the whisky is also the first thing you feel on the palate. The fruits and spices gently make their presence felt along with walnut and its faint bitterness. The bitterness and hints of smokiness can also be attributed to peat.
This is a well rounded single malt with a very gentle nature which can be very deceiving. Many might consider it too smooth but it is a great way to showcase how seamless a whisky drinking experience can be.