Glenlivet Archive 21 Review

Glenlivet Archive 21 Review

Brass tacks, The Glenlivet Archive 21 is among my favorite, readily accessible, single malt scotches and everything about it makes me feel giddy inside. There is a subtle poetry to this whisky. The balance, the taste, the smell, the feel. Everything about it makes me happy I have taste buds and a working olfactory system. I’m dead serious when I say this is one of those must have drams in life.

The liquid inside of this bottle is a mix of various casks in the Glenlivet warehouse that range anywhere from 21 to 40 years old. These casks can include ex-bourbon, sherry (obvious from the color and the flavor), first and second fill American and European Oak, French Limousin Oak and whatever else they’ve got tucked away. The goal in taking this Frankenstein route is to create a deep and rich whisky that is brimming with complex aromas and flavors. This also means that it will change a bit as the years go on as it’s all based on what they have available, making each batch unique.

Glenlivet Archive 21 Review

Batch: 0711H

ABV: 43%
Price:$160

EYE
Caramel with hints of red

NOSE
A warm tropical fruit accompanied by caramel, strawberries, oak and sherry lift effortlessly out of the glass and bring with them subtle notes of malt and cocoa that reminds me of malted milk balls like Whoppers. A bit of melon and a sweet syrupy quality that reminds of Tiger’s Blood sno-cones. Baking spices and hints of sweet tobacco jump in and out adding a savory and earthy dimension to an already complex aroma.

TASTE
There is an immediate rush of flavor that makes me think of raspberry sorbet, but it’s brief and quickly replaced by cherry heavy dark fruit, wood, salted caramel and sherry. Hanging out underneath are notes of sweet malt, iodine, mint and a delicate touch of smoky char all sitting on a carpet of spice.

BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Expertly balanced with a rich full body and a velvety almost oily feel. This whisky was made for sipping.

FINISH
Long, rich and filled with wood, spice, sherry, a meaty dark fruit and complex dessert notes like caramel and sweet cream.

OVERALL
It’s an absolute pleasure. The warm and velvety, bordering on oily, texture and deep rich flavors create a robust and attention grabbing flavor profile. The complex nose filled with sweet aromas punctuated by savory spikes make this as much a pleasure to sniff as it is to drink; a perfect companion for the complex spice notes and earthy undertones that ride beneath the intensely flavorful palate. To put it into 6 words: It’s one hell of a dram.

SCORE: 95/100

Josh Peters
Connect

Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters
Connect

Latest posts by Josh Peters (see all)

2 Responses to Glenlivet Archive 21 Review

  1. Very nice review, Josh!

    This is my absolute favorite whisky. I try to keep a bottle of this on hand at all times, so I can pour a drink every once in a while and realize all over again what craftsmanship in a whisky tastes like. I love its surge of dark fruit and how it folds into spices before it follows everything up with a very smooth warming kick that stays for a while on the tongue, if that makes sense. And that underlying hint of peat, your “delicate touch of smoky char,” that ties everything together? Love it. I’m not a big fan of the major peat monsters, but The Glenlivet brand is right in my Scotch wheelhouse, and the Archive 21 is flat-out excellent.

    And you are right about the nose. I’ve been searching for the right description for the earthiness that is in the background and your “sweet tobacco” descriptor seems to fit the bill. Soft, oiled leather comes to mind, as well. I could nose this for an hour if I didn’t like the taste of it so much. Cheers!

Leave a reply

Send this to friend