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Glenlivet 12 vs Macallan 12: Discover the Better!

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

Glenlivet 12

  • Nose: Toasted cereal, honey, pear.
  • Palate: Creamy, vanilla, ripe fruit.
  • Finish: Short-lived, honey, vanilla.

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, fruity notes and just a tad of oak.

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 Dewar’s White Label for cocktails and save your hard-earned money.

Glenlivet was founded in 1824 and has operated almost continuously ever since.

Learn how it compares to the Glenfiddich 12!

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Glenlivet:

  • Bottled 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.

  • This brand is part of the French-based Pernod Ricard portfolio that includes several brands including Chivas Whisky.

Macallan 12 Double Cask

  • Nose: Sherry, dried fruit and mixed nuts.
  • Palate: Rich in spices, oak and a hint of chocolate.
  • Finish: Long and rich in oak.

The nose is sweet, rich in sherry, dried fruit and oak.

On the palate, the Double Cask kicks-off with a blast of oak, followed by bitter chocolate, sherry and a bit of citrus. There is just a bit of warmth yet from the pleasant type as it’s not burny.

The finish is long, with more oak to it, rich in dried fruit and a tad of spice.

The Double Cask is rich in flavors, not too sweet, with a faint note of chocolate, a trace of spice, with a bit of warmth at the end and a noticeable oaky note making it a pleasing dram as it goes down nicely.

Overall, the Macallan 12 Double Cask serves as an introductory release to sherry cask matured Scotch before going for the sherry-bombs (Glenmorangie, GlenDronach), although the deep oaky note can be harsh for some consumers.

Adding a splash of water will tune-down the oak and the warmth making it easier to drink. I would not use the Double Cask as a mixer due to its price.

Learn how the Macallan compares to the Glenfiddich 12.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Double Cask:

  • Bottled at 86 proof (43% ABV).

  • Macallan was aged for 12 years using a combination of American and European oak casks seasoned with sherry wine from Spain.

  • Earned Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2017.

  • Gold Medal & 95 points rating from the International Review of Spirits Tasting in 2017.

Glenlivet 12 vs Macallan 12: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Glenlivet 12$51
Macallan 12 Double Cask$75

Glenlivet 12 vs Macallan 12: Which is better?

Glenlivet 12 is easier to drink making the best for newbies

WhiskeyGlenlivet 12Macallan 12
  • Glenlivet 12 might well be the easiest drinking whisky on the planet as it’s overly smooth with no harsh or complicated notes making the better option for those new to Single Malt Scotch or liquors in general.

  • Macallan 12 is a more satisfying dram, but it feels a bit warmer and has a strong oak flavor that might overwhelm untrained aficionados.

Glenlivet and Macallan are Speyside Whiskies

Speyside is the most densely populated Whisky region in the world. Speyside whiskies are known for having low to no smoke content and being fruity.

Apple, pear, honey, vanilla and spice all have a part a role in expressions from this region, which are commonly matured in Sherry casks.

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