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Glenfiddich 21 vs Glenlivet 21: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Glenfiddich 21 vs Glenlivet 21 in this in-depth comparison and decide which Single Malt is better for You!

Glenfiddich 21 Reserva Rum Cask Finish

glenfiddich -21
  • Nose: Honey, caramel, pineapple, coconut, almond
  • Palate: Raisins, pineapple, mango, honey, walnut, chili pepper
  • Finish: Mango, pineapple, honey
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Neat
  • Similar to: JW Blue Label, Macallan 18


The nose is sweet and smooth with hints of honey at first, followed by tropical notes of pineapple and coconut, along almond coming behind.

On the palate, the Glenfiddich 21 feels a bit thin lacking in texture. First sip is sweet hitting with raisins at first, followed by rum-like notes of pineapple, mango and coconut.

You also get some pleasant chili pepper spiciness making it lively, along a tad of roasted walnuts.

The finish is short-lived, with more tropical notes notes to it and very little heat to it.

Is it good?

The Glenfiddich 21 is a smooth and sweet easy drinker that tastes more like a rum than a Scotch.

A bit thin as it lacks texture providing a mediocre mouthfeel with a short and unremarkable finish and shy of being stellar.

Very little value for the money when you can buy the Balvenie 14 at a deep discount while offering a more robust profile, along Balvenie’s signature smoothness making a better deal for your hard-earned money.

Glenfiddich 21 facts:

  • Originally known as the Havana Reserve but changed name due to the US embargo against Cuba.
  • Aged for 21 years in used bourbon barrels, followed by four months in hand-picked rum barrels from the Caribbean.
  • Glenfiddich is owned by William Grant & Sons along Balvenie although they are crafted at different distilleries within the same Scottish region of Speyside.

Glenlivet 21

  • Nose: Sherry, honey, oak
  • Palate: Honey, caramel, coffee, oak
  • Finish: Medium, honey, oak, smoke
  • Alcohol content: 86 proof (43% ABV)
  • How to drink: Neat
  • Similar to: Glenlivet 18, Royal Salute 21


The nose is full of sherry and honey, followed by a pleasant touch of oak.

On the palate, the Glenlivet 21 feels viscous providing a good mouthfeel. Flavor brings honey and caramel sweetness up-front, with a note of espresso coffee and oak coming behind giving balance to the whisky.

The finish has a medium length, with more honey which is the main note from start to finish, along oak and a very light note of smoke making this is a very satisfying dram.

Is it good?

The Glenlivet 21 is not the cheapest but delivers the goods as it provides a smooth and engaging experience.

Well balanced, packed with nice tasting notes, with no harshness or warmth and let downs providing a good sip.

Bottled at 86 proof providing a good mouthfeel while remaining smooth and something well worth drinking.

Comes in a beautiful box set that somehow makes it taste better.

Glenlivet 21 facts:

  • The Glenlivet 21 aka “The Archive” blends whiskies aged for at least 21 years although there are some 40 year old whiskies in the blend.
  • Aged using a combination of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks.
  • Glenlivet is the best-selling Single Malt Whisky brand in the United States and second to Glenfiddich globally.
  • Glenlivet is owned by Paris-based Pernod Ricard along Chivas Regal.

Glenfiddich 21 vs Glenlivet 21: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Glenfiddich 21$210
Glenlivet 21$290

Glenfiddich 21 vs Glenlivet 21: Which is better?

Glenlivet 21 is a better deal

WhiskeyGlenfiddich 21Glenlivet 21
  • The Glenlivet 21 provides a great experience while perhaps being the best Glenlivet Scotch.
  • This is an almost perfect whisky for those who want a super smooth, yet complex taste.
  • The Glenfiddich 21 is nice and sweet but for that money you can buy the Balvenie 14 which is a better choice for those who want a Scotch finished in rum casks.