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Distilled Spirits: Glenlivet Archive 21 Year Single Malt

The nose is quite full and rich. There are notes of sandalwood and pine with a resinous note. Potpourri creeps in with barley sugar and cereal notes with acacia honey. The palate is rich and full. There are notes of oily walnuts and winter fruitcake with spice and sugar. There is a golden syrup note. The finish is long and sweet with a soft, chewy oak.

This is Glenlivet’s second oldest bottling in their portfolio and is a great addition to the rest of the line. While Glenlivet’s 12yr old can be found at nearly every bar in the United States, this bottling may be a little tougher to find out in the wild. However, with Glenlivet being such a huge hit in the U.S. your local speciality shop should have a bottle or two in stock.


I was pleasantly surprised by the nose on this fill. As with some older aged whiskies the sherry can overpower even the most robust house flavor. It would seem that this particular bottling used second fill casks which imparted only a slight influence. This is definitely to our benefit as other dimensions can really shine. While the sherry remnants are fairly subdued, the vanilla notes from the old oak and renowned Speyside citrus are very apparent. A slight hint of heather honey tops off the nose and adds a nice feinty balance.


The body and mouth feel are fantastic, definitely one of my favorites in this department. It is firm and coats the mouth easily. The palate is sweet but has a buttery richness that provides balance and class. Some light spice notes are apparent but difficult to identify, I recommend a little water to open things up. The finish has more sweet spice and a hint of dark chocolate (think >40% solids) that warrants another. Overall a wonderful Speyside dram and a welcome deviation from the rest of Glenlivet’s lighter, bourbon aged portfolio.

Purchase here:  Master of Malt

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