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Glenlivet 12 vs Glenfiddich 12: Discover the Better!

Discover the differences between Glenlivet 12 vs Glenfiddich 12 in this head to head comparison and decide which Single Malt is better for You!

Glenlivet 12

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


The nose is light, with 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 honey and vanilla notes.

Is it good?

The Glenlivet 12 is a smooth Single Malt with not a hint of harshness, peat, smoke or any complicated note. It’s 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.

If you are new to Scotch whisky or liquors in general, this is a great starting point.

This is a whisky that you can easily drink neat or straight, but if you want to make it better add a splash of 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. Think about whiskies like the Dewar’s for such purposes.

Glenlivet 12 facts:

  • Aged 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.

Glenfiddich 12

  • Nose: Floral, ripe fruit, honey
  • Palate: Fruity sweetness, pear, oak
  • Finish: Medium, pear, oak
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Add water
  • Similar to: Auchentoshan 12, Glenmorangie 10


Glenfiddich 12 has served at the introductory whisky to Single Malt Scotch to millions including me. I don’t drink it anymore as my taste has evolved greatly but I still remember it fondly.

On the nose, the Glenfiddich 12 offers a light aroma with a floral note, along fruity notes and honey.

On the palate, this malt has a decent body. Flavor offers fruity sweetness up-front, followed by a hint of pear and a tad of oak.

The finish has a decent length, with no warmth to it, with an aftertaste of pear and subtle oak.

Is it good?

If I was new to Scotch, this would be a friendly introduction; if you are an experienced aficionado you are going too find it too friendly, perhaps boring.

The Glenfiddich 12 is a clean and sweet whisky, nothing complex, nothing great but nothing off-putting, is just a smooth and mellow fruity dram.

No harshness and no traces of smoke make it the best option for newbies curious about single malt Scotch or liquors in general.

Glenfiddich 12 has been the entry-level bottle to the fantastic world of single malt whisky for many people including me and for a good reason: Glenfiddich is a solid, smooth and yet affordable single malt.

Glenfiddich 12 facts:

  • Aged for 12 years in a combination of used American oak and European sherry oak casks.
  • Glenfiddich has been in business since Christmas Day 1887 when William Grant founded the distillery.
  • Glenfiddich is the best-selling single malt across the globe.
  • This is Speyside whisky, these whiskies are known for being smooth, creamy, fruity and commonly matured in Sherry casks.
  • This brand is owned by William Grant & Sons who also owns Balvenie, Tullamore D.E.W., Monkey Shoulder among several others.
  • Both whiskies age for 12 years in a combination of American and European oak casks, although Glenfiddich’s casks are ex-sherry; these casks add sweet notes to the whisky.

Are Glenfiddich and Glenlivet the same?

No, they are bitter neighbors and not the same whisky

They taste very similar, so much that most consumers would not be able to tell from the other in a blind taste.

Glenfiddich 12 vs Glenlivet 12: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Glenlivet 12$51
Glenfiddich 12$51

Glenfiddich 12 vs Glenfiddich 12: Which is better?

These whiskies are introductory releases to single malt Scotch

WhiskeyGlenfiddich 12Glenlivet 12
  • Both whiskies are would I call ”plain vanilla” as they are both quite easy to drink as they do not have peat, smoke or any troubling note.
  • Both are smooth, sweet and full of fruity notes.
  • The Glenfiddich is a bit more fruity, while the Glenlivet is higher in vanilla so it comes down to a matter of personal preference of which flavor you prefer.
  • Both releases are suitable for newbies as they easy drinkers with no harsh or complicated notes.
  • If I were forced to choose one that would be the Glenlivet.

Glenlivet and Glenfiddich are Speyside Whiskies

Speyside whiskies are those crafted in northeastern Scotland. These whiskies are smooth, creamy, sweet and have almost no smoke making them the safer bet to those uninitiated to single malt Scotch.

Similarities between Glenlivet 12 vs Glenfiddich 12

  • These whiskies are single malts. According to the United Kingdom’s Scotch Whisky Regulations a single malt must be made exclusively from malted barley, distilled using pot stills at a single distillery and aged for no less than 3 years.
  • Glenlivet and Glenfiddich are Speyside whiskies. They are distilled in Strathspey, the area around the River Spey in Moray and Badenoch and Strathspey, in northeastern Scotland. Speyside is home of other prestigious distillers such as Balvenie and Macallan. Speyside whiskies are the most popular single malts in the world as they are smoother, easier to drink and have low levels of smoke.

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