The Glenlivet – Founder’s Reserve

Please take into account that these are my personal tasting notes and personal experience, as such you may interpret this whisky very differently from me.


Light gold.


Sweet,vanilla, toffee, a touch of orange citrus and oak.

With water: The addition of water eradicated almost all the scent from the whisky – I actually got more from the glass than the whisky itself.


Smooth and creamy, vanilla and toffee, again a touch of orange citrus , spicy oak and a nuttiness at the end.

With water: More orange and the spice was toned down slightly.


Long, nutty with vanilla and a slight spiciness.

With water: No change.


Now let me start by saying that this particular NAS expression has received some very mixed reviews and a fair bit of hate. In some countries such as the UK and Germany the Glenlivet 12 Year has been removed and essentially replaced by the Founder’s Reserve. This is part of the reason some people dislike the Founder’s Reserve so much as they had a fondness for the 12 year which many feel had more flavour and depth. Personally I wasn’t a huge fan of the 12 year though, I thought it was okay, particularly for the price but it didn’t wow me in anyway and so I don’t lament it’s disappearance.

When the 12 year was available it was the same price (if not less) than the Founder’s Reserve, now this is a big bone of contention for many. For more on this check out my NAS – Good or Bad? post and keep an eye out a post soon taking another look at NAS whiskies.

My personal opinion on the Founder’s Reserve? I liked it! It’s not going to knock your socks off and in truth I think it’s aimed at those new to whisky as an easy introduction. I don’t think that’s a bad thing though. In regards to replacing the 12 year – well I welcome the replacement, as I’ve said I wasn’t a huge fan of the 12 year. Ultimately it all comes down to personal taste and what one person hates another might love. So try not to be put off by reviews and just try it for yourself – maybe just buy a sample to start though in case you really don’t like it.

Oh and if you do find you hate it then you’ll be in good company with Maltman Mike who vehemently despises the stuff!


Taken from The Glenlivet Website.

Boasting the classic flavours of The Glenlivet bound up in a creamy, smooth texture, this expression is our tribute to the one who started it all.

George Smith, our founder, was a trailblazer with an irrepressible spirit. In creating a whisky in his honour we were understandably keen to do him justice. The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve captures the distinct, smooth, fruity taste that he first envisioned in 1824 and for which we are still renowned today. And because we remain as dedicated to innovation as our founder ever was, we’ve given this classic single malt a contemporary twist.

Pale gold
Citrus fruit, sweet orange
Zesty orange, pear, toffee apples
Long, creamy, smooth
Enjoy with
Light dishes of salmon

9 Comments Add yours

  1. ilovewhisky says:

    The Founder’s Reserve will always be a source of amusement for me. Well done on the balanced review!


    1. Thank you – it all comes down to personal taste in the end. I thought it was alright, nothing to shout about but not deserving of some of the hatred it receives lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. sorrenkrebs says:

    The fact this is a entry level expression says it all.. it will never win awards for whisky of the year and it was never supposed to take that accolade.. your review is spot on !! It is a first dram type whisky and will have those that hate it for what it is and those that will take it for what it is 👍


    1. Exactly, for what it is – an entry level whisky – it does the job and certainly doesn’t deserve the hatred it receives. Some of it at least though is light hearted – as with Mike, I’m sure he does dislike it but he plays on the “hatred” a little 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. sorrenkrebs says:

        At the end of the day we all just give our opinions.. What you might like I may hate and vice versa.. but on this occasion I agree with you.. I’d be happy to drink it.. and I do own a few bottles !!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Exactly – taste is very subjective and that’s particularly true when it comes to whisky as there’s such a diverse range of styles and flavours.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. sorrenkrebs says:

        Very true..


  3. peatydataguy says:

    Good balanced view! I have a very personal reason to lament the loss of the 12 Year Old – it was the whisky of the evening for my wedding. Not so much due to personal choice but rather budget, as putting out the 18 Year Old for a cast of 300 would have cost more than the night itself! But personal feelings aside, having tried the Founder’s Reserve just last week I concur with your thoughts – entry level easy drinking inoffensive whisky.


    1. Thanks and good to see you thought the same. Shame about the 12 year old in relation to your personal connection to it. You can still get hold of the stuff, just a bit more expensive now… I bought a couple of bottles before it was out of stock. Still got one of them squirreled away for emergencies lol.


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