Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve was released in 2014 as a NAS entry-level whisky to sit side-by-side with the 12-year old in established Glenlivet markets and replace the 12-year-old in emerging markets. As the consumption of whisky continues to grow it looks like this will also be replacing the 12 in established markets as well.
The below quote from the distillery does a great job of explaining the history and make-up of the whisky, but the one thing that has me scratching my head is exactly what they mean by “traditional casks”. I have no doubt it’s using ex-Bourbon casks (2nd, 3rd, etc. fill), but do they also mean ex-Sherry? Glenlivet has traditionally used ex-Sherry casks, but they never call that out on the site. It’s marketing speak like this, with no definition or reference, that always me frown bit.
Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve Review: Details and Tasting Notes
In Glenlivet’s Words: Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve
“The traditional oak casks in which we mature the whisky give each expression its own distinct characteristics. When George Smith began distilling, The Glenlivet had no age statements and he selected whisky from casks of a range of ages. We have replicated this freedom with The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve, selecting whisky from a variety of traditional aged oak casks.
Then, to lend a modern twist to the flavour of the expression, Master Distiller Alan Winchester marries together a selection of the aged oak casks and American first-fill oak casks. American first-fill oak casks are those that have never before been used to mature whisky. Selective use of these casks provides a smooth, creamy sweetness that mingles harmoniously with the delicate flavours and complex fruity tones already present in the whisky.”
Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve price, ABV, age and other details
Region: Speyside, Scotland
Mash Bill: 100% Malted Barley
Cask: Traditional Oak (ex-Bourbon… & ex-Sherry?), American First Fill (ex-Bourbon)
Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve Tasting Notes
Honey, malt, dried fruit, toffee and a touch of wood and nuts.
Dried fruit, honey, malt, graham, spice, toffee, char and some wood and candy sweetness.
Med-Short -> Honey, fruit and char.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Ok balance, medium body and light feel.
Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve Review: OVERALL
I like the Glenlivet 12 more and than I do the Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve. It’s a bit weak and light, but to be fair that’s often the name of the game for an entry malt. People want it to be “smooth”, approachable and without any off-notes.
Something that will bring the newbie into the fold and open their senses to the distillery without overpowering them. If that was their goal then they achieved it admirably because it’s not too shabby. Not too exciting either, but definitely not too shabby.
SCORE: 80/100 (B-)
*Disclosure: This Glenlivet Founder's Reserve sample was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.
Glenlivet Founder's Reserve Review
- Nose - 80
- Palate - 80
- Finish - 80
- Balance, Body & Feel - 80
Glenlivet Founder's Reserve Review Summary
Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve is ok.