Glenlivet 12 Whisky Review and Price Guide

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Choosing a quality Scotch whisky can often feel like navigating a labyrinth, especially with the array of options available. Did you know Glenlivet 12-Year-Old is the best-selling single malt Scotch in America?

This blog post will guide you through everything you need to know about this highly acclaimed scotch – its history, production process, and tasting notes and also offer an updated price guide for 2023.

Stay tuned as we uncork the secrets of this iconic Speyside single malt!

Key Takeaways:

  • Glenlivet 12-Year-Old is the best-selling single-malt Scotch whisky in America and offers a truly exceptional experience for cocktail drinkers.
  • The production process of Glenlivet 12 involves carefully selected barley, pristine spring water, and meticulous distillation to create its distinct flavor profile.
  • The tasting notes of Glenlivet 12 include candied nuts, tropical pineapple notes, sweet vanilla cookies, and a hint of toffee with a smooth and creamy finish.
  • In 2023, the price for a 750ml bottle of Glenlivet 12 is approximately $51.24. Other options from Glenlivet range from affordable choices like The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve to high-end selections such as The Glenlivet Winchester Collection 50 Year.

The Origin and Historical Background of Glenlivet 12 Whisky

Glenlivet 12 Year Old Whisky Glass

The Glenlivet 12 Whisky has a storied history that dates back to the early 19th century. Its founder, George Smith, was an illicit distiller before the passing of the Excise Act in 1823.

He made history by being brazen enough to apply for one of the first licenses to legally produce whisky, following this act which turned Scotland’s illegal distilleries into legitimate businesses.

His application came through in 1824 and thus birthed The Glenlivet Distillery; hence becoming known as ‘the single malt that started it all’.

Situated in the Speyside region of Scotland, nestled amidst Livet Valley, The Glenlivet distillery swiftly earned fame for producing premium Scotch whisky using barley from Crisp Malting, Portgordon.

As popularity soared among lovers of fine spirits – Charles Dickens and King George IV included – challenges arose from rival producers attempting to use the ‘Glenlivet’ name due to its growing prestige.

This resulted in John Gordon Smith’s legal battle after inheriting his father’s legacy, culminating with rights granted exclusively for their brand under “THE” Glenlivet name in 1884.

The Glenlivet 12 Whisky Production Process

The Glenlivet 12 whisky is produced using carefully selected barley sourced from Crisp Malting in Portgordon, which undergoes a skilled distillation process at The Glenlivet Distillery in the Livet Valley.

Raw Materials

Glenlivet 12 whisky begins its journey with premium-grade barley sourced from the Crisp Malting in Portgordon. This high-quality grain is the backbone of Glenlivet’s distinct flavor profile, contributing to its rich, complex characteristics.

The water used for mashing and fermentation is drawn from Josie’s Well, a natural spring located near the distillery in Scotland’s Speyside region. Known for its pristine quality, this freshwater source infuses every drop of Glenlivet 12 with a touch of Scottish authenticity.

Thus, these raw materials – barley and fresh spring water – play a significant role in creating this fine single-malt whisky that cocktail drinkers around the world appreciate and enjoy.

Distillation Process

The distillation process of Glenlivet 12 is a meticulous series of events that ensure the top-notch quality of this esteemed single malt Scotch whisky.


  1. The journey begins with barley, specifically sourced from Crisp Malting in Portgordon, which plays an integral role as the raw material in this process.
  2. This carefully selected barley undergoes malting, where it is soaked in water and allowed to germinate, converting starches into fermentable sugars.
  3. The malted barley then gets air-dried before being milled into a coarse flour known as a grist.
  4. This grist is mixed with hot water in a mash tun to extract the sugary liquid called wort.
  5. The extracted wort then moves to wooden washbacks where yeast is added and fermentation takes place for two days, producing a low-alcohol liquid named wash.
  6. The wash travels into Glenlivet’s copper wash still for the first round of distillation, separating alcohol from impurities and increasing its strength.
  7. The next stage sees the partially distilled spirit transferred to Glenlivet’s spirit still for further refining and purification.
  8. Only the heart or middle cut of this second distillation is collected – it holds a perfect balance between flavorsome compounds and high-grade alcohol required for maturation.
  9. Subsequently, this newborn spirit ages gracefully in traditional oak casks followed by American oak casks at the Glenlivet Distillery located splendidly in the Speyside region of Scotland.
  10. Throughout maturation, these casks impart their own character to the whisky while enhancing its natural flavors over time.


Tasting Notes of Glenlivet 12 Whisky

Glenlivet 12 Whisky Top View

The Glenlivet 12-Year-Old Scotch whisky boasts a delightful flavor profile that will captivate your taste buds. With every sip, you’ll experience the perfect harmony of candied nuts, tropical pineapple notes, sweet vanilla cookies, and a subtle hint of toffee.

The aromas are equally enticing, with fruity and citrusy scents mingling effortlessly with the inviting aroma of vanilla. Visually, this whisky presents itself in a medium to light honey hue, exuding elegance at first glance.

As you take your final sip, you’ll be treated to a long-lasting finish that is both smooth and creamy on the palate. The citrusy undertones are accompanied by an irresistibly sweet aftertaste that lingers just long enough to leave you longing for another pour.

It’s no wonder why Glenlivet 12 whiskey has become America’s best-selling single malt Scotch – it offers a truly exceptional experience for discerning cocktail drinkers looking to elevate their libations.

Price Guide: Glenlivet 12 Whisky in 2023

It’s no secret that the Glenlivet 12 whisky is a popular choice for cocktail drinkers in the US and many countries across the world. Let’s delve into the price guide for the Glenlivet 12 whisky in 2023.


Whisky Bottle Size Price (USD)
Glenlivet 12-Year-Old 750ml $51.24
The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve 750ml $45
Glenlivet Nadurra First Fill Selection 750ml $95
The Glenlivet 21-Year Archive 750ml $311
The Glenlivet XXV 750ml $545
Glenlivet The Winchester Collection 50 Year 750ml $24,995


These are the current prices for Glenlivet whiskies in 2023. You’ll notice that Glenlivet offers a wide range of prices, catering to both average and high-end consumers. Whether you’re a cocktail lover looking for a solid base for your whisky sour or an enthusiast wanting to savor a top-shelf dram, Glenlivet has got you covered.

Comparing Glenlivet 12 Whisky with Other Scotch Whiskies

Glenlivet 12 Whisky stands out among other Scotch whiskies with its smoothness and complex character, but how does it compare to other popular choices? Let’s take a look at two contenders: Ardbeg 10-Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky and The Macallan Double Cask 12-Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Ardbeg 10-Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky

If you’re looking for a smoky alternative to Glenlivet 12, Ardbeg 10-Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky is definitely worth considering. Known for its bold and unique flavor profile, Ardbeg offers an amazing smoky taste that will elevate your cocktail experience.

While Glenlivet 12 is known for its approachable flavor profile, Ardbeg 10-Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky provides a different level of complexity with its rich and peaty notes. Give it a try if you’re seeking something adventurous in your whiskey journey.

The Macallan Double Cask 12-Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

The Macallan Double Cask 12-Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is a luxurious and richly flavored spirit that stands as a worthy competitor to Glenlivet 12 and other Scotch whiskies.

This high-quality whisky undergoes a meticulous aging process in both traditional oak casks and American oak casks, resulting in a beautifully balanced taste. With notes of honeyed dried fruits, creamy vanilla, and a hint of spice, this single malt offers an indulgent experience for cocktail enthusiasts.

Though it may come at a higher price point than Glenlivet 12, The Macallan Double Cask delivers an exceptional drinking sensation that will impress even the most discerning palates.

Suggested Glenlivet 12 Whisky Cocktails

Enhance your Glenlivet 12 Whisky experience with these tantalizing cocktails: try the refreshing Glenlivet Whisky Sour or savor the timeless flavors of an Old Fashioned Cocktail.

The Glenlivet Whisky Sour

The Glenlivet Whisky Sour is a classic and refreshing cocktail that perfectly complements the smooth and flavorsome character of The Glenlivet 12-Year-Old Scotch whisky. To make this delightful drink, simply combine 2 ounces of The Glenlivet 12 with 1 ounce of freshly squeezed lemon juice and half an ounce of simple syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.

Shake vigorously until well chilled, then strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a slice of lemon or cherry for an added touch of elegance. This delicious cocktail brings out the fruity and citrus notes of The Glenlivet, creating a harmonious blend that will tantalize your taste buds.

Whether you’re sipping it on a warm summer evening or enjoying it as an after-dinner treat, The Glenlivet Whisky Sour is sure to impress both whisky enthusiasts and cocktail lovers alike.

Old Fashioned Cocktail

The Old Fashioned cocktail is a classic and timeless drink that perfectly complements the rich and smooth flavors of Glenlivet 12-Year-Old Scotch whisky. Made with just a few simple ingredients, including sugar, bitters, and a twist of citrus zest, this cocktail allows the complexity of the whisky to shine through.

The sweet and caramel notes in Glenlivet 12 pair beautifully with the aromatic bitters and create a well-balanced drink that whiskey enthusiasts will appreciate. Whether you prefer it on the rocks or straight up, the Old Fashioned is sure to enhance your enjoyment of this legendary single-malt Scotch whisky.

So sit back, relax, and savor every sip of this sophisticated cocktail made with one of the most beloved whiskies in the world.


1. What is the taste profile of Glenlivet 12 Whisky?

Glenlivet 12 Whisky has a smooth and balanced taste, with notes of citrus fruits, vanilla, and honey. It is known for its delicate and light flavor profile.

2. Is Glenlivet 12 Whisky worth the price?

Glenlivet 12 Whisky is considered to be a high-quality whiskey that offers good value for its price. Its excellent flavor profile and reputation make it a worthwhile investment for whisky enthusiasts.

3. How should I serve Glenlivet 12 Whisky?

Glenlivet 12 Whisky can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks to fully appreciate its flavors. Some drinkers also prefer adding a splash of water to unlock additional aromas and nuances in the whisky.

4. Will the bottle price of Glenlivet 12 increase in 2023?

Unfortunately, we cannot predict future pricing trends accurately. However, based on historical data and market demand, it is possible that there may be slight fluctuations in the bottle price of Glenlivet 12 in 2023.


In conclusion, Glenlivet 12 Whisky is a timeless classic that continues to impress whisky enthusiasts with its smoothness and complex character. With its rich history and meticulous production process, it’s no wonder that it has become the best-selling single malt Scotch in America.

Whether enjoyed neat or in a cocktail, Glenlivet 12 is sure to elevate any drinking experience. So why wait? Grab a bottle today and savor the flavors of this remarkable Scotch whisky.