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Glenlivet 12 vs Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve: Discover the Better!

Discover the differences between Glenlivet 12 vs Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve in this in-depth comparison and decide which Scotch is better for You!

Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve

glenlivet-founders-reserve
  • Nose: Banana, apple, anise
  • Palate: Vanilla, caramel, oak
  • Finish: Short-lived, soft, fruity
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Neat
  • Similar to: Glenlivet 14

Taste:

The nose is subtle, with a note of banana and apple, along a hint of anise.

On the palate, the Founder’s Reserve has a decent body with a moderately creamy body. Flavor brings notes of vanilla, caramel and just a tad of oak.

The finish is short with a citrus note along oak spice.

Is it good?

Not the most memorable or interesting whisky but there is not one harsh or off-putting note making it quite easy to drink; perhaps too easy.

The Founder’s Reserve is a great entry-level bottle to the world of single malt Scotch as it’s flavor profile and attractive price makes it perfect for newbies.

If you want to start drinking as a grown-up, that is neat, this is a good whisky to start.

Chill it a bit by adding large ice cubes avoiding dilution as you don’t want to water-down your precious whisky.

If you are in the market for a mixer I suggest you use a cheaper option such as the Jameson which mixes better in most cocktails and you save your hard earned money.

Founder’s Reserve receives its name to honor George Smith who in 1824 founded The Glenlivet Distillery becoming the first legally established distillery in the region.

The company now belongs to Pernod Ricard, a French conglomerate that owns a zillion brands including Chivas Regal.

Founder’s Reserve facts:

  • This whisky does not provide an age statement.

Glenlivet 12

glenlivet-12
  • Nose: Toasted cereal, honey, pear
  • Palate: Vanilla, oak, ripe fruit
  • Finish: Short, vanilla, fruit
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Neat
  • Similar to: Macallan 12

Taste:

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.

Is it good?

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 Scotch 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.

Glenlivet 12 facts:

  • 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.
  • Glenlivet is the best-selling single malt in the United States.

Differences between Glenlivet 12 and Founder’s Reserve

There is one major difference between these whiskies that you should know:

  • Founder’s Reserve is a single malt whisky with no age statement.
  • The Glenlivet 12 was aged for a dozen years using American and European oak casks. Aging makes the whisky darker whilst adding deeper tasting notes.

Glenlivet 12 vs Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve$44
Glenlivet 12$51

Founder’s Reserve vs Glenlivet 12: Which is better?

Founder’s is better for newbies

WhiskeyFounder’s ReserveGlenlivet 12
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • If you are an absolute rookie to Scotch whisky or liquors in general you should start with the Founder’s which one of the easiest drams on the planet as it’s utterly inoffensive.
  • The Glenlivet feels like a grown-up version as the longer aging adds oak to the flavor and a bit of spice on the finish.
  • Regardless of which you choose rest assured that these malts are very easy to sip.

Glenlivet

Glenlivet is a Speyside whisky. This is a region in Northeastern Scotland renowned for its smooth and creamy single malt whiskies. Speyside is home of other famous whiskies such as Balvenie, Glenfiddich and Macallan.

Glenfiddich is the world’s top-selling single malt, Glenlivet is the best-selling in the United States whilst the Macallan is regarded as the top-distiller.

There are other whisky regions in Scotland offering various flavor profiles, some more mineral and peaty and harder to drink. If you are new to Scotch or single malts Speyside whiskies are a good place to start the voyage. Once you become acquainted you can experience the deeper flavors the Islay whiskies offer.

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