Discover the differences between Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve vs Balvenie Caribbean Cask in this head to head comparison and decide which Single Malt is better for You!
Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve
|Nose||Banana, pineapple, cherry|
|Palate||Banana, caramel, coconut|
|Finish||Short, ripe fruit, brown sugar|
|Alcohol content||80 proof (40% ABV)|
|How to drink||Neat|
|Similar to||Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve|
The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve is a whisky with no age statement similar to the Founder’s Reserve but finished in ex-rum barrels from Jamaica; this added rum-like notes to the Scotch making it fruitier and sweeter than a traditional whisky.
The nose is light and quite fruity, with hints of banana, pineapple and cherry.
On the palate, the Glenlivet Caribbean has a smooth mouthfeel and a mostly sweet flavor full of banana, caramel and coconut.
The finish is short and smooth with no burn, leaving a fruity and sugary aftertaste along subtle oak.
Adding a drop of water to it releases a touch of oak, along more rum-like fruity flavors making it an even easier sipper.
Makes a great choice for people with no experience whatsoever in Scotch Whisky.
There are a few facts worth knowing about the Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve:
- No age statement.
- Finished in Jamaican rum barrels.
- Glenlivet is the best-selling Single Malt Whisky in the United States and second globally to Glenfiddich.
- Glenlivet was founded in 1824 and belongs to Pernod Ricard from France along other big names such as Chivas Regal and Jameson Irish Whiskey.
Balvenie 14 Caribbean Cask
|Nose||Vanilla, banana, pineapple, pepper|
|Palate||Vanilla, honey, ripe fruit, tobacco|
|Finish||Long, vanilla, oak spice|
|Alcohol content||86 proof (43% ABV)|
|How to drink||Add water|
|Similar to||Balvenie 12, Oban 14|
As opposed to the Glenlivet that provides no age statement that Balvenie 14 was aged for 14 years, first in traditional American oak barrels and then finished in casks that were seasoned with a blend of fine Caribbean rums hand-picked by David C. Stewart.
Stewart is the man that came up with the idea of wood finishing, a process in which Scotch is matured in one type of cask, such as ex-Bourbon barrels and then transferred into a second cask type such as ex-sherry or ex-rum.
The nose is quite sweet as it’s full of ripe tropical fruit along a dash of black pepper.
One the palate, Balvenie 14 is really smooth, full of pleasant sweetness with no burn at all. Flavor hits with vanilla and honey at first, followed by hints of ripe fruit, along a tobacco note.
The finish lingers with pleasant warmth, vanilla and just a tad of oak spice.
Balvenie 14 is pleasantly fruity, high in notes coming from the Caribbean casks but well balanced against traditional whisky flavors.
This is an exceptionally smooth and mild dram, sweet and incredibly easy to drink as it shows no harshness, smoke, peat or weird tasting notes.
Overall, this the Balvenie 14 is a pleasing Scotch and solid option as an “everyday whisky” due to its smoothness.
There are a few things worth knowing about the Balvenie 14
- Gold at the International Wine & Spirit Competition 2019.
- Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2011.
- Balvenie was founded in 1886 by William Grant and the brand is owned by Grant’s descendants along Glenfiddich and Monkey Shoulder.
Glenlivet Caribbean vs Balvenie Caribbean: Price comparison
Prices are approximate and stated in USD:
|Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve||$33|
|Balvenie 14 Caribbean Cask||$85|
Glenlivet Caribbean vs Balvenie Caribbean: Which is better?
Aging made the Balvenie 14 a more interesting whisky
|Whiskey||Glenlivet Caribbean||Balvenie 14|
- Glenlivet is a sweet and smooth entry-level fruity whisky perfect for those with very limited to no experience in Scotch Whisky or liquors in general.
- No harsh or complicated notes making it an overly easy drinker that can safely be sipped neat or mixed in cocktails.
- The Balvenie 14 is a much finer whisky as aging made it more complex while adding subtle oak notes making it more satisfying and a better choice for well-traveled aficionados.
- If you drinking on a budget stay with the Glenlivet as it provides an affordable and satisfying experience.
I am a bar and liquor shop owner in Oaxaca, Mexico where I have tasted hundreds of different spirits; perhaps more than I should!