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Glenlivet 18 vs Blue Label: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Glenlivet 18 vs Blue Label in this head to head comparison and decide which Scotch is better for You!

Glenlivet 18

NoseRipe fruit, apricot, caramel
PalateOrange, vanilla, baking spice
FinishLong, oak, dried fruit, cinnamon
Alcohol content86 proof (43% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toGlenfiddich 18, Macallan 18

Glenlivet is renowned for its smoothness and the 18 YO does not disappoint.

The nose is sweet and fruity, with a rich note of apricot and caramel.

The mouthfeel is overly smooth and harmless with a hint of sweet orange and vanilla and some baking spice coming behind.

The finish is long but dry, rich in oak, dried fruit and cinnamon, with pleasing warmth coming late to the party.

This malt is nicely balanced and smooth, but quite light lacking in character making a somewhat boring dram for an 18 YO as it lacks character or memorable tasting notes.

This is an easy sipper, free of smoke and a good choice for those who prefer smooth drams without strong aftertaste.

It drinks nicely neat, water does very little for it as it’s good as is.

Learn more about this brand reading my post: Discover the Best Glenlivet Scotch where I rank every bottle.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Glenlivet 18:

  • The 18 YO is aged in a combination of both American and European oak.
  • The Glenlivet distillery was founded in 1824 and has operated almost continuously since.
  • The brand was acquired by Paris-based Pernod Ricard.

Johnnie Walker Blue Label

NoseOak, dried fruits, berries, citrus
PalateCaramel, smoke, chocolate, malt
FinishMedium, light smoke, dried fruit
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toBlack Label, Gold Label, Green Label

According to Johnnie Walker only 1 in 10,000 casks is selected to be part of the blend.

It makes me think that Johnnie Walker must have a zillion casks in storage as the Blue Label is everywhere to be found as every duty free store in the world carries a generous stock.

The nose offers oak at first, followed by a light smoky note. There are hints of berries and citrus coming behind.

On the palate, the Blue Label feels creamy, rich in caramel up-front, followed by a malty flavor and a hint of chocolate. There is a bit of smoke making it incredibly rewarding.

The finish has a solid length, light in oak and smoke with a rich dried fruit note.

I would summarize the Blue Label (Review) by saying “smooth, smoky and delicious”.

This whisky is incredibly smooth yet quite flavorful with more peat than I was expecting but still just a hint and nothing off-putting for those who are not into peaty whisky.

The Blue Label is remarkably gentle on the palate, very smooth, slightly sweet with smoky cigar-like aftertaste. It does not burn as it goes down easy and nicely while making the best Johnnie Walker whiskey.

Consider further options by reading my post with the best alternatives to the Blue Label.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Blue Label:

  • This whisky is not a Single Malt Scotch but a blend of malt and grain whiskies crafted at various distilleries across Scotland.
  • It does not have an age statement.
  • Johnnie Walker is owned by London-based Diageo along other 200+ brands.

What’s the difference between Glenlivet 18 and the Blue Label?

Glenlivet is a Single Malt

  • The 18 YO is a Single Malt produced exclusively using malted barley and at a single distillery.
  • The Blue Label is a blend of grain and malt whiskies crafted at undisclosed distilleries across Scotland.
  • Another important distinction is that the Glenlivet is aged for at least 18 years while the Blue Label does not provide an age statement.

Glenlivet 18 vs Blue Label: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Glenlivet 18$135
Johnnie Walker Blue Label$240

Glenlivet 18 vs Johnnie Walker Blue Label: Which is better?

The Blue Label is well worth drinking

WhiskeyGlenlivet 18Blue Label
  • The Blue Label is not a single malt, lacks age statement, but packed with nice tasting notes, a subtle touch of smoke and remarkable smoothness delivering a solid experience from nose to finish.
  • If you don’t want to spend this much in these uncertain times the Glenlivet 18 makes a nice alternative. Super smooth as Glenlivet has us accustomed it making a satisfying pour, just that not as tasty as the Blue Label.