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Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve vs Balvenie Caribbean Cask: Which Wins?

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

NoseBanana, pineapple, cherry
PalateBanana, caramel, coconut
FinishShort, ripe fruit, brown sugar
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toGlenlivet 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.

The Glenlivet Caribbean is a sweet and smooth whisky that drinks nicely either neat or rocks and I would go as far as mixing it with Coke.

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.

Balvenie 14 Caribbean Cask

NoseVanilla, banana, pineapple, pepper
PalateVanilla, honey, ripe fruit, tobacco
FinishLong, vanilla, oak spice
Alcohol content86 proof (43% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toBalvenie 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.

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

WhiskeyGlenlivet CaribbeanBalvenie 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.

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