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Aberlour 12 vs Glenlivet 12: Discover the Better!

Discover the differences between Aberlour 12 vs Glenlivet 12 in this in-depth comparison and decide which Single Malt is better for You!

Aberlour 12 Double Cask

  • Nose: Raisins, baking spice, charred oak.
  • Nose: Caramel, spice, nutmeg, charred oak.
  • Finish: Chocolate, cinnamon, charred oak.

Nose is quite pleasing as it offers a scent high in raisin, followed by baking spice and charred oak.

On the palate, Aberlour provides a good mouthfeel as it has a creamy texture. First sip hits with spice, but nothing too severe, as you keep drinking it caramel pops-up, along hints of nutmeg and charred oak.

The finish has a decent length, with a hint of bitter chocolate and cinnamon, along more charred oak which is present from start to finish.

Adding a drop or two of water releases more caramel, although it also brings more charred oak.

Overall, Aberlour 12 is a good malt, not overpowering, rich and sweet, smooth and gentle on the throat, making a good combination of easy going and yet interesting.

Something that I particularly like about this malt is the bottle design, that it’s not only unique but quite classy.

Learn how it compares to the Balvenie 12!

There are a few facts worth knowing about this whisky:

  • Bottled at 80 proof (40% ABV).

  • Aged in both traditional oak casks and Oloroso sherry butts. Spanish Oloroso casks convey sweet notes of dried fruits, caramel, plums and cherries to the Aberlour.

  • The distillery was founded in 1879 by James Fleming, his motto was ‘Let the deed show.’

Glenlivet 12

  • Nose: Toasted cereal, honey and pear.
  • Palate: Creamy and rich in vanilla notes along some fruit.
  • Finish: Short-lived ending with honey and vanilla notes.

The nose is faint, with hints of notes of toasted cereal, honey and pear.

On the palate, the Glenlivet 12 is creamy and overly smooth, with vanilla flavor and fruity notes.

Finish is quite short with more sweet and vanilla notes.

The Glenlivet 12 is smooth with not a hint of harshness, peat, smoke or any complicated note. Its mellow and rich in notes of vanilla and honey.

This might well be the easiest 12 year single malt to drink as it doesn’t have neither smoky nor oaky notes, although it lacks complexity or any memorable flavor. Let’s call it a “plain vanilla” whisky.

This is a whisky that you can easily drink neat or straight, but if you want to make it better it add a splash water.

Just a few drops of water will open-up the whisky allowing rich floral notes to emerge enhancing sweetness. This is how Scots drink whisky.

You could use the Glenlivet 12 as a mixer but I would rather use a cheaper option and a bit more peppery to add a kick to my homemade cocktail. Use something like the Monkey Shoulder for mixing and save your money.

Learn how it compares to the Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve!

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Glenlivet:

  • Botttled at 80 proof (40% ABV).

  • The Glenlivet 12 was aged for a dozen years using mostly ex-bourbon and European oak casks.

  • This distiller uses wooden washbacks to ferment the mash. This adds a characteristic flavor to the whisky as opposed to fermenting in steel.

  • Earned Gold at the International Spirits Challenge.

What do Aberlour and Glenlivet have in common?

Both are owned by Pernod-Ricard from France

These brands are both owned by Pernod-Ricard headquartered in Paris, France.

It must be noted that they are crafted at different distilleries making them completely different.

Aberlour 12 vs Glenlivet 12: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Aberlour 12$61
Glenlivet 12$51

Aberlour 12 vs Glenlivet 12: Which is better?

Aberlour is a more interesting and tasty dram

WhiskeyAberlour 12Glenlivet 12
  • I’ve counted the Aberlour among the best 12 YO single malts while the Glenlivet is too basic to be in that category.

  • Aberlour is a better whisky than the Glenlivet for whisky aficionados. Aberlour nicely balances sweet and spicy notes with charred oak and a bit of warmth making a solid dram.

  • This is a more complex and rewarding single malt.

  • Those new to single malt Scotch are more likely to enjoy the Glenlivet as it is quite smooth, with no harshness or off-putting notes. Glenlivet is what I would call a “plain vanilla whisky” making a good choice for those yet to get acquainted with Scotch.

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