A Very Good (And Affordable) 21yo Glenlivet
Gordon & MacPhail are arguably the most famous of all the independent whisky bottles out there. They have a vast range of bottlings from different distilleries. This Glenlivet is from their George & J.G. Smith label and is bottled at 43 per cent. It’s been maturing for 21 years on refill sherry and bourbon casks. Naturally, Glenlivet has their own official 21 year old: The Glenlivet 21yo Archive. Is this G&M a good (or maybe even better) alternative?
Nose: There is a feint sherry influence. Also orange and white chocolate. Somewhere there is some green apple and malt.
Taste: Some tropical fruit, maybe mango. It is a very easygoing dram with a nice mouthcoating feel. A bit later on I also taste some chocolate and pepper. With water it gets sharper, this whisky does fine without it.
Finish: A medium to long finish, spicy and complex.
Rating: 87 points
This obviously isn’t the exact same as the original 21yo of The Glenlivet. But I know which one I would pick given the choice. Gordon & MacPhail have done a wonderful job here. Also something to take into consideration: at somewhere around 80 euros this version is much cheaper than the OB, which’ll cost you at least 100 euros.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.