Whisky Showdown! Glenlivet 12 vs. Bruichladdich the Laddie 10

Last month, I reviewed Bruichladdich’s the Laddie 10 and revealed a tender but elegant Scotch. Today, I compare the Laddie 10 to the classic 12 from Glenlivet.

Both whiskies are a pale gold and are undistinguishable from one another. I had to ensure I kept tabs on each glass as I started the tasting to make sure I didn’t mix them up from the start! The legs run quick and thin on both, a sign of their youth according to some whisky experts.

The nose on the Glenlivet 12 does not betray its reputation for being soft and unassuming. I do however notice that the side by side tasting brings out the nose of the Laddie 10. The contrast in expressions allows me to notice the peat in the Laddie. Though I hadn’t noticed during my prior tasting, there is definitely a soft peaty background that accompanies the young fruity freshness of the Laddie 10. Overall, the Laddie 10 is stronger and more complex on the nose, making the Glenlivet 12 seem rather boring.

On the palate, the Glenlivet is pleasant, mild, and quite tasty with its nice apple notes. The Laddie 10 is a more deep concoction, keeping with a fruity contrasting the Glenlivet with shades of oak and peat, qualities I had not noted on my initial tasting. The Glenlivet is also more chewy against the Bruichladdich’s juicy texture. The higher alcohol content of 46% abv on the Laddie 10 is also quite obvious here, lending some punch to the overall flavour.

The finish of the Glenlivet is oddly similar to the Laddie 10, despite the differences in nose and palate between the two expressions. While the Glenlivet sticks to fruit, the Laddie one ups it with a twist of fig and compliments the rest of the experience very nicely.

Both are nice whiskies for everyday enjoyment and I’m sure will please most people. My personal preference is with the Laddie 10. Though a younger whisky, it is just a notch more complex than the Glenfiddich and makes for a more interesting experience.


Whisky Showdown! Glenlivet 12 vs. Yamazaki 12

People often ask me what I think about one whisky or another. Far be it for me to deprive the world of my opinion, I often comply with these requests. Comparing and contrasting one whisky versus another aids in these discussions. Many of these conversations find their genesis in the person’s desire to choose their next bottle carefully. Giving a reference point facilitates the decision-making process. Most of these discussions revolve around Scotch but I like to point out that Japanese whisky is a worthy contender. This brings me to today’s Showdown! The popular Glenlivet 12 goes up against a strong contender, the Yamazaki 12.

I added but a few drops of water prior to tasting the two whiskies bottled at 40% abv for the Glenlivet and 43% for the Yamazaki.

In appearance, one is challenged to tell them apart. Nearly identical in colour and consistency, the two can most likely only be told apart at the point of pouring.

The nose on the Glenlivet is soft and smooth against a slightly stronger Yamazaki. Side by side, I would say the biggest difference between the two is that the Glenlivet is more lemony while the Yamazaki is stronger on caramel.

The palate on the Glenlivet is soft and silky while the Yamazaki is spicy and bold. The Glenlivets fruits and honey and softer than the similar notes on the Yamazaki. The Yamazaki proves to be richer on the palate.

The finish on the Glenlivet is again smooth and silky and contrasts with the Yamazaki, whose spice and bold flavour continue into a long and satisfying conclusion. Honey and melon continue long after consuming the Yamazaki and transform into sweet spice.

Overall, the Yamazaki delivers a bolder, richer, more complex and more intense experience than the Glenlivet. The Glenlivet is still a nice whisky and versatile as a whisky for all occasions, but the Yamazaki is the clear winner for the traists menitoned above. If you can find it, the Yamazaki is a bit more expensive that the Glenlivet. However, the quality of the product merits its price point. I believe I picked up my bottle for about $65 at the SAQ in Quebec. I have not seen it in Ontario or New Hampshire recently. The Glenlivet 12 is commonly found at any store that sells fine spirits.


Whisky Showdown! Glenlivet 12 vs. anCnoc 12

Having just reviewed a whisky whose flavour profile was surprisingly pleasant and rich at 12 years, I decided a comparison against a popular whisky of the same age was in order. The Glenlivet 12 is not just a popular whisky, it is a good everyday dram. The question I have is whether this popularity is well deserved against a lesser known rival.

Both whiskies are bottled at 40% abv and are at the starting point of their range.

In appearance, both whiskies are identical in colour and consistency. They both have a yellow colour, bordering gold. The the anCnoc may, and I stress the “may”, be slightly more pale.

On the nose, the Glenlivet is light and sweet. Apple and vanilla with a hint of cinnamon are the order of the day. The fruitiness of the Glenlivet easily is contrasted against the lemon and honey of the anCnoc. Concentrate on the nose for a while and with the proper amount of water (very little to both), and you will be able to find their common trait: vanilla.

One the palate, the soft and silky Glenlivet provides gentle apple, wood, and pear. The anCnoc is very similar, but the flavours much stronger. There’s apple and pear to the anCnon, like the Glenlivet, but the flavours are more easily identified. The anCnoc adds honey but less wood, making for a sweeter profile.

The finish on the Glenlivet is pleasant, with wood and milk chocolate. I notice a slight oily texture on my tongue as well. The anCnon 12 provides deep malts and sweet notes. The finish on the anCnon is longer, but not very long either.

I’ll give an edge to the anCnoc here, it’s a more complex whisky with interesting points throughout the tasting.


Whisky Showdown! Johnnie Walker Black vs. Glenlivet 12

The two whiskies subject to today’s Whisky Showdown! are neighbours in my whisky cabinet. The rivals consists of Johnnie Walker’s fine Black Label vs. the Glenlivet 12. Both are popular products and easily accessible. They both contain identical age labels, though the Johnnie Walker Black is a blend, and each is bottled at 40% alcohol by volume. Let’s see how they stack up against each other.

The colour on the Johnnie Walker Black is deeper than the Glenlivet and the legs run thicker and slower.

The nose of the Johnnie Walker is more intense than the Glenlivet. The Black, especially contrasted against the Glenlivet, brings up smoke, citrus, honey, and fruit. The Glenlivet is more floral overall and more than subtly suggests apple in its presentation, but shares some of the honey and citrus that the Black so elegantly conveys. These are very different introductions and made all the more apparent by the side by side tasting.

The palate of the Johnnie Walker starts with oak and smoke before turning to some of its sweeter elements. By contrast, the Glenlivet starts soft and heads into apple and wood eventually developing a hint of oak if you keep it on the tongue long enough. The Glenlivet’s oily texture is easily discerned while I didn’t give a second thought to the Black’s texture until taking a second swig. The Black is slightly more gritty, but nothing quite apparent about it’s texture.

The finish on the Black is smooth and satisfying, comparing nicely to the Glenlivet. The Glenlivet is shorter however, mixing in some mild chocolate and a bit of fruitiness, and lacks some of the complex mix of oak, smoke, and sweeter expressions of the Black. Instead, the Glenlivet begs for another sip to keep the experience going.

Overall, I’ll call this for Johnnie Walker’s Black. It is a richer experience overall, but really pulls out ahead because of the richer and more satisfying finish.

You can read my initial review of the Johnnie Walker Black here.

My review of the Glenlivet 12 can be found here.


Whisky Showdown! Macallan 12 vs. Glenlivet 12

This edition of the Whisky Showdown pits two twelve year old that are most likely staples in many home bars.  The Macallan 12 is extremely popular and has been for many years.  the same could be said of its challenger the Glenlivet 12.  For those with limited space or facing a decision as to which to order at the bar, this tasting should provide some guidance.

Let us start as usual with the visuals.  The Macallan is a darker colour than the Glenlivet with a deep amber hue compared to the latter’s light gold appearance.  They both produce thin, quick running legs after a good swirl of the glass, however the Macallan appears to run slightly slower.

On the nose, the Macallan whiffs of sherry, oak, hints of honey and fruit.  The Glenlivet’s much more sweet in comparison and softer overall with its notes of vanilla and fruit.  The sherry and oak mark the Macallan whereas the vanilla and apple mark the Glenlivet.  Both have a similar hint of orange and citrus.  An interesting introduction to both, but the Macallan seems to have the edge in arousing interest with its bolder and more complex introduction.

On the palate, the Macallan is about sherry, oak, honey, orange peels, and a hint of smoke delivered in a chewy texture that is well balanced and complex.  The Glenlivet is an exercise in apple, fruit, and vanilla in a more watery, though slightly chewy texture that results in a very easy drinking experience.  The Glenlivet has some hints of wood, not nearly as rich as the Macallan and even hints of milk chocolate to contrast with the Macallan’s approach to sherry and oak.

The finish on the Macallan gives way to more smoke and dark chocolate versus the Glenlivet’s milk chocolatey impression.  The Macallan lasts longer and eases into some variations on what the nose and palate had shown while the Glenlivet’s shorter finish is less diverse.

Overall, the Macallan is the winner due to its more interesting overall profile.  However, the Glenlivet goes down easy and may appeal to a broader base as a result.  I will go ahead and name the Macallan the winner here but stress that the Glenlivet is a good drink as an everyday dram and probably will satisfy more guests at parties and events while the Macallan is more suited to those who already have a more profound appreciation for whisky.  Congratulations to the Macallan, you can find my review of the winner here, and my review of the Glenlivet here.


Glenlivet 12

The tasting today is your typical, run of the mill, 12 year old Glenlivet. This is a whisky at 40% alcohol by volume from the Speyside region of Scotland. The distilliery was established in 1824 by George Smith. Glenlivet is a standard setter in whisky and along with Glenfidditch, helped popularize single malts in recent years.

The colour is a light gold, fairly clear. Looks a bit like apple juice. The legs run thin and quick.

On the nose, I pick up faint hints of vanilla and apple. A bit of citrus mixes in towards the end. Very light though overall and by no means an overwhelming aroma.

To the tongue, it comes on soft and smooth but slightly chewy. There’s some wood to it along with some apple. The flavours are soft and result in a very easy to drink whisky. A second glass of this could be easily consumed without feeling overwhelmed by the flavour and intensity, unlike some others I have tasted recently.

The finish starts with the fruit and turns into chocolate. Not dark chocolate like some of the others, but milk chocolate. Reminds me of some of those Easter chocolates. It is smooth, but milky and sweet. The finish does not last very long, but satisfies regardless and invites you to pick up the glass quickly for another taste.

Some water brings out more of the aroma. Same character as before, but more apple and maybe even some pear coming through at this point.

The flavour is more delicate, even silky now. The fruit and wood continue to make themselves known.

The finish is still short and fruity, with the same milk chocolate end.

Overall, a good whisky for everyday drinking and occasions. Due to its soft tones, your guests will not be disappointed, even those who do not regularly appreciate whisky.