The Glenlivet is a distillery owned by Pernod Ricard. Ballantines Finest of the same owner is in second place in the sale of Scotch whisky, and Glenlivet in the malt whisky category is around the same position. Rumors say Pernod Ricard is working hard to make Glenlivet the best-selling malt whisky in the world. In the US, Glenlivet is already number one. Glenlivet 12 is widely sold in Estonian grocery stores, a 70 cl bottle costs just a bit over € 30.
The nose is light, soft and fruity. Flowers and hay in the summer meadow, apples and strawberry, a little vanilla and cinnamon. Quite a pleasantly sweet and soft smell. The taste is light and quite sweet at the beginning, but it turns dry and slightly bitter towards the end. The taste is not as rich as one might expect from the smell. The taste has bitter oak, malt, wheat biscuits, a little honey and a light spiciness. Slightly dried plum or raisin. The overall taste is very light and clean, the bite of the alcohol is a little sharp but short. At the time of opening the bottle, the taste was much more fruity and floral, but at the time of the review, when half of the bottle has been standing for almost a year, the fragile aromas have almost completely disappeared. So you should empty Glenlivet quickly if you enjoy its aromas. Unlike many other Scotch whisky which benefit from the oxidation, Glenlivet clearly suffers from it.
Glenlivet reminds clearly of Ballantines Finest, the flagship product of the same owner. Very light, delicately aromatic, soft, floral and fruity but otherwise quite dull in taste. Glenlivet tasted so light and dull that I ended up using it in various whisky cocktails. Even many blended whiskys are more versatile and better for neat sipping. And generally half cheaper than Glenlivet. So not a very good deal, although it makes rather delicious drinks. Several whisky connoisseurs say Glenlivet tasted much better decades ago, but has now become much lighter and more one-sided. The increase in sales volumes has therefore had an impact and the taste of the product has suffered. Due to its light taste, Glenlivet can only be recommended for beginners and those who are uncomfortable with the smoke, peat or harsh aroma which usually are noticeable in Scotch whisky.