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Glenlivet 14 vs Macallan 12: Discover the Better!

Discover the differences between Glenlivet 14 vs Macallan 12 in this head to head comparison and decide which Single Malt is better for You!

Glenlivet 14

  • Nose: Ripe fruit, citrus, grape.
  • Palate: Honey, raisins, apple, dark chocolate.
  • Finish: Medium-length with a spicy hit and pleasantly warm.

The nose is rich in ripe fruit, along hints of citrus and grapes.

On the palate, Glenlivet 14 provides a good mouthfeel as it displays a creamy texture. Flavor hits with honey at first, followed by notes of raisins, apple and a subtle touch of dark chocolate.

The finish has a decent length, hitting you with a spicy note, but nothing too severe, while bringing pleasing warmth.

What makes the Glenlivet 14 interesting and somewhat unique is that it was first aged in ex-bourbon casks and sherry casks and then finished in former Cognac casks.

Those casks provide the ripe fruit, raisin and chocolate note that are quite common to French Cognac.

If you have tried the Glenlivet 12 you’re gonna find the 14 YO to be a bit warmer, yet still smooth, and far more tasty making a more pleasing single malt.

Glenlivet is the best-selling single malt Scotch Whisky in the United States and second-globally after Glenfiddich for two good reasons:

  • Glenlivet is characterized by fruity and easy flavor profiles with no smoke or harsh notes.

  • It’s releases are attractively priced.

Discover the differences between Glenlivet 12 vs 14 so you consider further options.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Glenlivet 14:

  • Bottled at 80 proof (40% ABV).

  • Aged for 14 years in ex-bourbon and sherry casks and finished in Cognac barrels.

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

  • Earned 94 points at the 2019 Ultimate Spirits Challenge.

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

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

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 Macallan 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 Macallan 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 satisfying 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 (Glenallachie, 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 it compares to the Glenfiddich 12!

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

  • Bottled at 86 proof (43% ABV).

  • 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.

  • The Macallan Distillery was founded in 1824 and is located in Craigellachie, Moray.

  • Macallan does not use caramel-coloring to make the whisky look more appealing, this practice is allowed under the set of rules that govern Scotch whisky but Macallan refrains from such questionable practice.

Glenlivet 14 vs Macallan 12: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Glenlivet 14$65
Macallan 12 Double Cask$80

Glenlivet 14 vs Macallan 12: Which is better?

The Glenlivet provides better value for the money

WhiskeyGlenlivet 14Macallan 12

Both are quite good so it comes down to which tasting notes suit you better:

  • The Glenlivet 14 is more fruity, with sweet tasting notes coming from the Cognac casks. It’s also the easier drinker of the two.

  • The Macallan 12 is richer in oak and feels somewhat warmer. It drinks quite nicely when paired with a Cuban Cigar!

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