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CrispyCritter
09-30-2006, 23:46
I picked up a miniature of this, and just poured it a while ago. Strangely, the Glenlivet site doesn't list this bottling - they have a 15yo "French Oak Reserve" now. This 12yo version had a deep golden color, and the nose had some definite brandy-like character to it.

On the palate, I also had a slight impression of brandy, but it also seemed a bit bourbon-like, even though I could tell it was malt whisky.

I'll have to look for a full-size bottle of this - or give the 15yo a try.

Gillman
10-01-2006, 06:14
The 15 got an excellent review in Michael Jackson's last Whiskey Guide. I think there were varying opinions on the 12 but the 15 yera expression seems to have made the most of the French wood finishing concept.

You have a good palate because that Glenlivet would have been aged for most of its life in ex-bourbon barrels, so that explains the tinge of bourbon flavor. The finishing in French wood would give it some French "brandy" character which you noted too.

The Buffalo Trace experimental bourbon aged in Limousin oak also had notes of brandy-like flavor, again one can see the use of French wood is critical to a good part of the palate of French brandy. I liked that bourbon a lot but it was not better than the best regular bourbon, just different.

Dramiel McHinson
11-12-2006, 08:53
I picked up a miniature of this, and just poured it a while ago. Strangely, the Glenlivet site doesn't list this bottling - they have a 15yo "French Oak Reserve" now. This 12yo version had a deep golden color, and the nose had some definite brandy-like character to it.

On the palate, I also had a slight impression of brandy, but it also seemed a bit bourbon-like, even though I could tell it was malt whisky.

I'll have to look for a full-size bottle of this - or give the 15yo a try.

I've had a bottle of the FOR 15yo in my collection for several months now. I haven't opened it since I only found the one bottle and haven't seen it since. I suffer from to many open bottles and not enough drinking capacity so its sat unopened. Sounds like I should throw conservation to the wind and plow into this seemingly rare Glenlivet.

Any other first hand experience or comparisons out there?

EricABQ
11-12-2006, 10:14
I think the French Oak 15 is one of the great values in single malt. A good price for a very good whisky. I haven't ever seen the French oak 12.

AVB
11-12-2006, 15:01
I've had both the 12 and the 15 yo versions and IMO the 12 is a bit more interesting. The 15 is smoother and very balanced but the 12 has a little more roughness and spice. Since the prices I've found locally are within $3 for the two bottles it doesn't matter to my wallet which one is bought.

Mr. Smith
11-24-2006, 01:47
the 15 YO FOR has somewhat less of the french oak characteristic since it is not a wood finish. French Oak "Reserve" means that only parts of the distillate has rested on french oak between 9 & 16 months, while on a bottling stating "finish" the whole distillate has been on french oak for approx the same amount of time. i haven't tasted the 12 YO, but i find that the 15 FOR is a very elegant and well-balanced whisky with a hint of pepper and spice on the finish that you would expect from this kind of wood treatment.

jimibourbonhammered
11-27-2006, 14:33
I've had both and to me the 15yo is miles ahead of the 12yo. The 12 wasn't much different than the Glenlivet regular 12. The 15 has an amazing floral nose and just enough spice in the flavor to balance out the sweetness. The new 16yo Nadurra C/S is great too.