Quick Reviews – Random 12 Year Old Edition

A quick post to give a rundown on a few of the whiskies that I’ve tried recently while out for dinner with Little Bitty Bits.  All happen to be 12 year olds, largely because I’m poor and the selections at these establishments are rather weak.  Two standards and one less popular.

Glenlivet 12 Year Old

Anyone ever tried this before?  Yeah, I thought so.  Nonetheless, this was my first time.  I had previously tried Glenfiddich 12, which I did not enjoy, and since I automatically lump Glenfiddich and Glenlivet into the same category, my expectations were less than sky high.  In the end, though, I was pleasantly surprised.  On the nose, the big flavor is apple.  Very light and somewhat floral as well.  An enticing nose.  On the palate, the apple comes through with all kinds of baking flavors.  In two tastings, I wrote down: apple, cinnamon, buttery baked good, brown sugar, and buttered toasted nuts.  All flavors that I like.  Relatively short on the finish, but this undoubtedly wins the battle of the popular 12 year old Glens.

Macallan 12 Year Old

Another well known dram that I hadn’t yet tried.  As I mentioned in an earlier comment on this blog, the Macallan 12 reminded me of the Balvenie DoubleWood, which isn’t the highest praise (for my tastes).  On the nose, that sherry hits you.  There is also some kind of Amaretto flavor as well, and then a pretty big blast of heat.  On the palate, it starts very smooth, and then turns up the heat.  A very large flavor.  Some early cherry flavor which evolves into a darker fruit and spice.  A finish that lingers.  I can see why people like this, but it just isn’t my thing.

Cragganmore 12 Year Old

I was excited to see this offered last night at a new restaurant that LBB and I tried.  The bar there had a quite eclectic selection of whiskies – not necessarily extensive, but just a handful of less common bottles.  One was the Cragganmore 12, which was on my “to try” list.  This whisky literally has the lightest nose that I’ve smelled.  Jamming my nose deep into the glass, all I got was a very light “whisky” flavor (if that makes any sense, which it doesn’t).  On the palate, it is light bodied but flavorful.  I get a little wisp of smoke, a fair amount of brine (reminding me a bit of Old Pulteney 12), and something like toasted walnut.  More interesting flavor than I was expecting on the nose.  Not necessarily something that I’ll look to purchase a bottle of, however.

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3 comments on “Quick Reviews – Random 12 Year Old Edition

  1. Florin says:

    Glenlivet 12 is a great whisky, regardless of price (only $24 in CA, the best whisky deal). People take it for granted because it’s ubiquitous. The lack of nose on the Cragganmore sounds strange, was it the end of the bottle? The taset as you describe it reminds me more of the Cragganmore I know. How is the JW Green coming along? 🙂

    • Wow, $24 a bottle? That’s ridiculous. It goes for $36 here, and I still consider that a big value. At $24 per, I think it would have a permanent spot on my shelf. I knew there was a reason I needed to move back to CA.

      Not sure what happened with the Cragganmore. I didn’t see if it was the end of the bottle. One thing to note is that it was in a glass that was less suited for nosing than a regular rocks glass – the sides of the glass slanted outward (i.e., the rim had a larger diameter than the base). So that didn’t help. But regardless, I got nothing.

      JW Green is purchased (best price nearby was $52), but not yet opened until I kick one of my other bottles. And I’m anxious.

      • Florin says:

        The Martini glass would do that to any whisky; the bar should know better. A good friend, whisky buddy of mine, always had his whisky in his favorite rocks glass. I got him a bottle of Old Pulteney 12 for Christmas, which included 2 Glencairn glasses as schwag. He’s been grateful for the glasses ever since, he says he can now smell his whisky, not only taste it! My favorite glass in fact is a cognac snifter – some find this pretentious, but it really adds a dimension to the nose.

        $24 for Glenlivet 12 is indeed ridiculous – it used to be $22 at Costco but they raised the price this year. K&L Wines has it for shipping, but not to PA, I believe. $52 for JWG is a good price. Lookng forward to the review, but no rush!

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