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Glenlivet 15 vs Macallan 15: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Glenlivet 15 vs Macallan 15 in this in-depth comparison and decide which Single Malt is better for You!

Glenlivet 15 French Oak Reserve

glenlivet-15
NoseVanilla, orange peel, caramel
PalateNutty flavor, caramel, vanilla, oak spice
FinishLong, oak, almond
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toGlenfiddich 15, Oban 14

The Glenlivet 15 offers a nice sweet aroma with hints of vanilla and caramel, along a bit of citrus peel.

On the mouth it feels creamy providing a good mouthfeel. Flavor is smooth and rich in caramel and vanilla, with a noticeable nutty hint and a pleasant hit of oak spice, with nothing overwhelming or off-putting.

The finish is where this malt shines as it has smooth and lingering flavors with some nice oak and spicy hints and pleasing warmth on the tail.

The Glenlivet 15 offers good value within the Glenlivet family as it is an improvement over its 12 YO sibling and is even better than the 18YO.

Those two are overly smooth but quite boring, frankly. The 15 YO is a smooth and yet flavorful malt, striking a nice balance between spicy and sweet notes and a bit of warmth on the tail that sits well.

This whisky would be even better if it had a higher proof but Glenlivet like to water-down its malts a bit.

The Glenlivet 15 is first aged for 12 years in ex-bourbon barrels and for 3 years in French Limousin Oak. Those with expertise in casks ensure that the large-grain and tannic wood of these barrels “ensures a clear color and an impressive expression in all spirits”.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Glenlivet 15:

  • Gold Medal at the 2014 International Wine & Spirits Competition.
  • Glenlivet is the best-selling single malt whisky in the United States and second globally behind Glenfiddich.

Macallan 15 Double Cask

macallan-15-double-cask
NoseCinnamon, apple, raisins, oak
PalateOak, caramel, dark chocolate, hazelnut
FinishTobacco, chocolate, cinnamon.
Alcohol content86 proof (43% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toGlenDronach 15, Macallan 18

The nose is rich in baking spice at first followed by hints of apple, raisins and subtle oak.

On the palate the first taste comes a bit peppery but it settles nicely as you let it develop in the glass.

Macallan 15 offers rich caramel taste with a delicious dark chocolate hint and toasted oak note. Pleasant warmth hits on the back of the throat and is easy and smooth going down.

Finish is toasty, long, and quite tasty with note of chocolate.

This is an excellent single malt, smooth and satisfying. If you feel some warmth add a drop of water and that will release more caramel and oak making it even easier to sip

Overall, the Macallan 15 is good single malt, with deep tasting notes, at the right level of sweetness and nicely balanced.

If you have tried the Macallan 12 Double Cask you are going to find this to be an improvement as it’s not as oaky and feels more complex and layered.

This one of the best 15 year old whiskies, the best Macallan for the money you can buy and it’s still reasonably priced!

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Macallan 15:

  • Aged for 15 years in a combination of American and European oak casks seasoned with sherry wine from Spain.
  • The Macallan Distillery was founded in 1824 and is also located in Moray, Scotland.
  • The brand belongs to the Edrington Group who also owns Highland Park, Glenrothes and the modest Famous Grouse, the best-selling Scotch in Scotland.

Glenlivet 15 vs Macallan 15: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Glenlivet 15$67
Macallan 15$150

Glenlivet 15 vs Macallan 15: Which is better?

Macallan 15 is one of the best of its kind

WhiskeyGlenlivet 15Macallan 15
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • Macallan 15 is the best Macallan for the money and one of the best 15 year old malts you can buy today. Incredibly balanced, complex and pleasantly warm delivering a solid experience from nose to finish.
  • Glenlivet 15 is a champ in terms of value though, not as deep or rewarding as the Macallan yet quite good providing a nice everyday whisky with no off-putting notes.

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