Glenlivet 12 – The Second Most Popular 12 Year Old in the World

The Glenlivet story needs no repetition. What is interesting is that The Glenlivet has been steadily growing in it’s piece of the single malt worldwide market share over the past eight years. In a market that’s expanding globally, The Glenlivet has not only increased the number of bottles sold, which is the easy part, but has also gone from an 8.8% share of the global single malt market in 2006, to a 12% share in 2013. That’s a 36% growth. In the corresponding period, incidentally, Glenfiddich declined from 15.3% to 12.7% of the market, a 17% decline in market share.

In just seven years, Glenlivet was able to close an almost 2:1 gap between the brands to about 5%. This push actually started in 2004, when The Glenlivet brand was revamped, and just a decade later it seems like that push for the number one spot was a brilliant move. Along the way, the distillery expanded to it’s current production capacity of 10.5 million liters per year, and the distillery has recently applied to the Moray Council for a license for a further expansion (necessary as the distillery is inside a nature reserve).

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Obviously, the marketing people are doing their jobs quite well at Pernod Ricard, together with a well timed expansion allowing the distillery better planning of existing and newer stock. Also, the wider availability of higher end expressions as well as the expansion of the Nadurra line of higher ABV all play a part in this growth.

Will 2015 be the year in which The Glenlivet takes over the number one spot?

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The Glenlivet 12 (40% ABV)

Appearance: Dark gold, thick and quick legs with some residue on the glass.

Nose: Green apples, honey, fresh baked bread, dusty spice, confectionery notes, a sweeter green fruit – maybe pear, heather. Time brings out more spiced honey.

Palate: Watery mouthfeel with pepper and allspice, honey and sweet fruity notes.

Linger: Spice in the back of the throat, pepper and sweet notes on the tongue in a medium finish.


As with the rest of this series, my criteria is for an entry level whisky, not for candidate entries for the Malt Maniacs’ Awards. As such, it’s smooth and interesting enough to serve as a gateway to greater exploration of the world of whisky. It’s weakness is the palate, which is a little watery, and it’s strength is the linger, which is pleasant.

Would I use this to introduce people to single malts? I would, and as such, it passes the threshold for this series.

1 comments on “Glenlivet 12 – The Second Most Popular 12 Year Old in the World
  1. freddeboos says:

    Lovely stuff and I agree, It’s a great “introducer!” 🙂

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