Drink Review: Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve

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The opening salvo of the Glenlivet range, named in honour of the distillery’s founder, George Smith. It’s classic Glenlivet, with a creamy and fruity character bolstered by the use of first-fill American oak to mature some of the whisky.

Glenlivet Founders Reserve Review:

Nose: This is some seriously delicious stuff. Sherry and orange marmalade, red fruits (apricot, raspberry, red grape and blackberry), cured meat and a good dose of resin. Floral, citrus and honey with soft notes of marmalade.

Palate: Dry and fruity. There’s a wave of oily peat, then carob, blackberry and raspberry, red fruits and honey. The whole thing ends with a rush of peat before a quick cool, dry note. It ends dry and expressive.

Finish: The peat comes back to it, funk-drenched. A little confused at first, but the peppery spiciness fades with time.

A rich malt, not quite as punchy as the core range. A very intriguing whisky which has a lot of interesting things going on, but it’s hard to pick them out. For this price, I don’t think I would change a thing.

Score: 86/100

Glenlivet Founders Reserve Review:

Nose: A lovely range of red fruits (apple, red grape, blackberry, cherry and plum) with honey, vanilla, cinnamon and cloves. With the Lagavulin finish (give it a minute…), there’s a tad of rubber and sweaty feet.

Palate: This is a big, powerful, intense whisky. It doesn’t sizzle like the first two, it just rumbles through the sinuses, big, powerful, weird, funky and smoky. The peat comes to the forefront later on, giving it an interesting depth.

Finish: Again, this is a big, powerful and intense whisky. The peat is dominant, with floral notes in the background. It’s like it’s been sitting out, too long, in the sun, and it’s got a dry, leathery edge to it.

Conclusion: Wonderful complexity, some wonderful pieces, and some just not so interesting ones. A great, ugly mess.

Score: 83/100

Glenlivet Founders Reserve Review:

Nose: delightful stuff. It’s well aged. citrus, lemons, strawberry, sweet vanilla, caramel and a spiciness which brings out the citrus.

Palate: A spicy, hot whisky, with hints of orange and lemon. The peat takes a back seat to the other scents to give it a more delicate and slightly sour edge.

Finish: It’s so hot now. Buckets of peat, lemon and lime.Very spicy.

 Hot and spicy, but delicious.

Score: 84/100

Glenlivet Founders Reserve Review:

Nose: A very interesting nose. It’s definitely Glenlivet, but less sweet. There’s lemon, white wine and an oily, dry musk which catches the nose’s attention. (

Palate: It’s Glenlivet, just less sweet. There’s lots of lemon, various fruits (lemon, orange, raspberry) and a hint of dark chocolate.

Finish: dry, lemon and white wine.

Incredibly complex and interesting, with a really good nose.

Score: 83/100

Glenlivet 18 Years Old Old #1 Review:

Nose: sweet, citrus, floral, strawberries, ripe bananas and a nice spike of lactic acidity.

Palate: more like a youthful Glenlivet. A nice sweet orange with mesclun, lime and a burst of pepper.

Finish: very long, sweet and peppery.

sweet and a little tangy, but a little flat.

Score: 83/100

Glenlivet 18 Years Old Review:

Nose: An oily, fruity, greener, more herbaceous nose than the Glenlivet 25, with notes of lemons, red apple and grapefruit.

Palate: A greener tasting Glenlivet, with notes of strawberry and raspberry with a peppery dryness.

Finish: Long, berry-tinged, sandalwoody, dry and strong.


Score: 83/100

Glenlivet 18 Years Old Review:

Nose: Citrus fruits and spicy peat. Pretty dry too.

Palate: citrus peel, black pepper, oak, iodine and dried fruit. It feels a bit medicinal.

Finish: a little sweet and overall, quite dry.

A little boring, I’m afraid.

Score: 74/100

Glenlivet 18 Years Old – The Connoisseurs’ Choice:

Nose: Citrus, lemons, pears and a more earthy note, sweet and juicy.

Palate: A similar character, all citrus with green peat and oily fruits.

Finish: rather long and slow.

My preference for the 18 years old is the Founder’s Reserve, but there’s no doubt that this is well-made.

Score: 85/100

Glenlivet 23 Years Old – The Connoisseurs’ Choice Review:

Nose: The tobacco… The peat smoke. Strong pencil shavings!

Palate: Salty, peaty and dry. Honey, citrus, lemons and an oily, leathery note.

Finish: very long and dry. There’s a vague suggestion of chalk, butter and old books.

Conclusion: A solid and satisfying whisky, but perhaps a little tame for the heart.

Score: 85/100

Glenlivet – The Connoisseurs’ Choice:

Nose: Citrus, lemon zest and an oily, slightly herbal character.

Palate: A lot of peat, with a very peculiar and unbalanced sherried orange and peat. There’s a powdery note, and a strange, citrusy citrus-tasting acidity.

Conclusion: Bit of a dumpster. Not the best one.

Score: 76/100

Glenlivet 18 Years Old Review:

Nose: oak, citrus, peat, orange wax flower and leather.

Palate: hops, lemon, some of the oiliness from the nose, with a slightly woody, dry and slightly sour character.

Written by Mark Adams


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