Drink Magazine

Whisky Review – The Glenlivet Alpha

By Boozedancing @boozedancing

The Glenlivet Alpha

When I woke up this past Fourth of July, whisky was the furthest thing from my mind. Scratch that. It was definitely a Top 5 on my list of early morning thoughts.

What I meant to say is that when I woke up this past Fourth of July, I never expected to return from my morning activity with a sample of The Glenlivet Alpha. Here is how it all went down…

At about 8:30AM, I took my eldest son along with Limpd’s eldest son to the “charming, but regrettably dry town of Haddonfield, NJ for their annual Fourth of July Parade (both boys attend the same Tae Kwon Do school and were going to march in the parade together). While waiting for the parade to start, I was goofing around on Twitter and wound up having a brief chat with Mark Gillespie of WhiskyCast and Oliver Klimek of Dramming.com. This Twitter chat eventually led to Mark sharing his Alpha sample with me and an invite for the Booze Dancing crew to do yet another WhiskyCast Virtual Tasting. As I have said many many times, the interwebz is a truly magical place!

Now that you know how I scored a sample of this whisky, let’s find out a bit more about it. Here is what The Glenlivet has to say about their Alpha expression via a very dramatic YouTube video:

Let’s get on with the review…

  • Appearance: Pale golden color with a slight amber tint.
  • Aroma: Very sweet and fruity on the nose. Getting tart peaches backed with creamy vanilla nougat and powdered sugar. Perhaps even a bit of ripe pears. Last but not least, there’s also a touch of peppermint and eucalyptus.
  • Taste: Light bodied with just a touch of oiliness. Quite a bit of heat concentrated on the front half of my tongue (poblano chile perhaps?). From mid-palate to the finish, vanilla and ripe fruits start to come through with just a hint of sweet tobacco at the very end. The finish is dry and mildly fruity with some of those herbal notes showing up in the aftertaste.
  • ABV: 50%

I liken my tasting of The Glenlivet Alpha to stumbling upon a movie that you know absolutely nothing about on HBO, only to find yourself completely sucked in and unable to change the channel. Another way of saying this is that since I had zero expectations (i.e. I read very little about this whisky before sitting down to review it), I just let this whisky reveal itself rather than having a set of preconceived notions about how it would smell or taste.

So did I like this whisky? Hell yes I did! What I enjoyed most about Alpha is how the aromas deceive you into thinking that it will be a soft and gentle dram. While it definitely leans towards the sweet and fruity side of the flavor spectrum, the 50% ABV and moderate spiciness that comes through in the palate remind you that you’re drinking a potent whisky and not some session cocktail. Definitely a dram to sip and savor!

But wait, there’s more…

Here are a few more reviews of this very unique expression from some of my favorite whisky bloggers:


Many thanks to Mark Gillespie for sharing his sample!

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