Aberfeldy 12 vs Glenlivet 12

Aberfeldy 12 vs Glenlivet 12 | Which Scotch Whisky Reigns Supreme?

Scotch whisky has been around for centuries and is one of the most beloved spirits in the world. Aberfeldy 12 and Glenlivet 12 are two of the most popular single malt scotches on the market today, both with their own unique flavour profile, history, and production process. For those looking to explore whisky or find a new favourite tipple, Aberfeldy 12 vs Glenlivet 12 is an important comparison to make.

Aberfeldy 12 is a single malt Scotch whisky produced by Aberfeldy Distillery, located in Aberfeldy, Scotland. Founded almost a century ago in 1898, Aberfeldy Distillery is located in the heart of Scotland’s renowned whisky-making region, the Highlands. Aberfeldy whisky is renowned for its signature heather honey and fruity aromas, as well as its smooth taste and long finish. It’s also the core whisky at the heart of Dewar’s blended whisky.

Glenlivet 12 is a single malt Scotch whisky produced by The Glenlivet Distillery, located in Moray, Scotland. Founded in 1824, The Glenlivet was the first distillery to receive a legal licence to produce whisky and has been producing some of the world’s finest single malt Scotches for over two centuries.

The Glenlivet 12 is a very popular expression from this distillery, with its signature aromatic notes of fresh fruit and delicate floral notes leading into a sweet and mellow taste. The finish is long and slightly smoky, with hints of spice at the end. This classic Scotch pairs perfectly with chocolate or cigar aficionados looking for something special.

In this article, we will take a look at these two classic 12 year old Scotches side by side – from their origins to tasting notes – so that you can decide which one reigns supreme in your book!

Aberfeldy 12 vs Glenlivet 12: Tasting Notes at a glance

Aberfeldy 12 Year old

Aberfeldy 12

Nose: Sherry-infused fruits, a faint hint of smokiness, decadent honeyed prunes and espresso beans that linger on the palate.

Palate: Lusciously sweet and malty, this whisky has a delicate peaty flavour that melts on your tongue like silk. A layer of vanilla fudge and peaches-and-cream envelops the palate, while hints of toasted oak emerge in the background.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, buttery smooth

Finish: A blend of ginger, malt, nutty nougat and the zingy gusto of grapefruit zest.

Age: 12 years

Cask/Barrels: a combination of Sherry, Bourbon, re-fill and re-char casks.

Strength: 40% ABV / 80 proof

Price: £38 /$47

Glenlivet 12 year old

Glenlivet 12

Nose: Sweet, succulent flavours of apricot and pineapple intertwined with the tartness of greengages, a hint of citrus blossom, and topped off with warm toasted teacake.

Palate: This unique blend offers the perfect balance of buttery, vanilla-rich notes and bright fruit aromas.

Mouthfeel: Creamy

Finish: Malt and oaky spice, blended with an airy hint of red apple succulence.

Age: 12 years

Cask/Barrels: European and American oak casks

Strength: 40% ABV / 80 proof

Price: £38 / $46

Aberfeldy 12 vs Glenlivet 12: Flavour comparison

When comparing Aberfeldy 12 with Glenlivet 12, there are key similarities and differences to note. Aberfeldy 12 offers a sherry-infused sweet and malty palate, with notes of honeyed prunes, espresso beans, vanilla fudge, peaches-and-cream, and a lingering zing of grapefruit zest.

Meanwhile, Glenlivet 12 is characterised by its more aromatic nose of apricot and pineapple intertwining with greengages and citrus blossom; its creamy buttery palate that offers a perfect balance of vanilla-rich notes and bright fruit aromas; and its finish of oaky spice blended with red apple succulence.

Aberfeldy also matures in a combination of Sherry, Bourbon, re-fill and re-char casks for 12 years before bottling.

The Aberfeldy Distillery has been ageing Aberfeldy 12 in these four types of casks since 1898, which helps to bring out the unique flavour notes that Aberfeldy Scotches are known for. Aberfeldy’s Sherry cask adds sweet and fruity flavours, while its Bourbon cask adds depth and complexity.

Its refill cask brings out Aberfeldy 12’s heather honey notes, while the re-char cask gives Aberfeldy 12 a smooth and mellow finish with hints of spice. This intricate maturation process gives Aberfeldy 12 its signature taste – a delightful combination of sweetness and smoky depth – that has made it such an iconic whisky.

On the other hand, The Glenlivet matures in European and American oak casks for the same amount of time before it is released.

European oak casks, or sherry and bourbon barrels, are often used in whisky maturation to bring out different aromas and flavours. In the case of Glenlivet 12, European oak casks are known to contribute a combination of sweet and spicy notes like cinnamon and nutmeg, as well as woody flavours that give the whisky a deeper complexity.

American Oak casks contribute more intense vanilla notes to the whisky’s flavour profile. This is due to their higher concentration of lignin – a type of aromatic structurally-related compound found in wood – which brings out more pronounced sweetness. The American Oak also adds a heavy dose of tannins, making it ideal for creating full-bodied and robust Scotches with a long finish.

In addition to these wood-derived aromas and flavours, both European and American oak casks can lend subtle notes from the charred interior walls. This gives the whisky smoothness and roundness while further amplifying the fruity and malty notes that Aberfeldy 12 or Glenlivet 12 is known for.

The choice between Aberfeldy 12 vs Glenlivet 12 ultimately boils down to personal preference; while Aberfeldy whisky may be considered more complex due to its unique cask maturation process and slightly higher proof level – those looking for something lighter might prefer the soft aromatics and mellow flavours of The Glenlivet’s offering.

Aberfeldy 12 vs Glenlivet 12: Price

Both Aberfeldy 12 and Glenlivet 12 are priced almost identically at just below the £40/$50. Which is what we’d expect to pay for a reasonable single malt whisky.

Both Aberfeldy 12 and Glenlivet 12 are excellent value for money. Aberfeldy 12 offers a unique and complex flavour profile, thanks to its 12-year maturation process in a combination of sherry, Bourbon, re-fill and re-char casks. Its rich palate reveals notes of honeyed prunes, espresso beans, vanilla fudge, peaches-and-cream, and grapefruit zest that linger on the finish.

Meanwhile, Glenlivet 12 is aged in both European and American oak casks for the same amount of time before bottling. These two types of wood impart different aromas and flavours; European oak gives Glenlivet 12 a combination of sweet and spicy notes like cinnamon and nutmeg as well as woody flavours that add depth and complexity; while American oak contributes intense vanilla notes with tannins to give the whisky full body and an extended finish.

Both Aberfeldy 12 year old and Glenlivet 12 can be purchased for just under £40/$50 – making them excellent value when it comes to single malt whiskies. Aberfeldy’s intricate maturation process imparts unique flavours that make it stand apart from other Scotches – while The Glenlivet’s complex blend of woods gives it a classic yet modern taste – making either one an ideal choice for someone looking to purchase an affordable yet high-quality whisky experience.

Aberfeldy 12 vs Glenlivet 12: Food Pairing

Aberfeldy 12

When it comes to Aberfeldy 12-Year Old whisky, Goan seafood curries are a match made in heaven. The spirit’s distinctively sweet and smoky flavour profile is a perfect pairing for the intense spices found in Goan curries, as well as their creamy texture.

Aberfeldy 12 lends balance to a curry’s warm notes like ginger, cumin, and coriander, while its robust character and oily mouth feel create an ideal contrast to the dish’s richness.

Kingfish with Red Masala
Kingfish with Red Masala

Additionally, Aberfeldy 12 Year Old’s long finish complements seafood dishes perfectly – as its lingering flavours help tie together all of the different elements on your plate. Whether you’re enjoying kingfish with red masala or prawn curry with coconut milk – Aberfeldy 12 is sure to make your dining experience even more memorable.

Prawn Curry with Coconut
Prawn Curry with Coconut

Strawberry cheesecake is a classic dessert that pairs perfectly with Aberfeldy 12 Year Old scotch whisky. The spirit’s sweet and smoky notes balance out the creamy richness of the cheesecake, while its oaky flavours add complexity to the overall flavour profile. Aberfeldy 12’s long finish helps to tie together all of the different components of the dessert – creating a truly memorable indulgence.

Strawberry Cheesecake
Strawberry Cheesecake

The combination of strawberry and Aberfeldy 12 brings out even more fruity notes in the whisky. Aberfeldy has aromas of honeyed apricots, peaches, and tropical fruits, which are enhanced by the sweetness of strawberry cheesecake. This match also works well to contrast Aberfeldy’s powerful and robust character with the gentle taste of strawberries.

Aberfeldy 12’s unique maturation process gives it an extra layer of complexity that makes it excellent for food pairing. Its combination of sherry and Bourbon cask-matured whisky provides sweeter aromatics like honeyed prunes and vanilla fudge. These notes work together with the smoothness from charring in American oak casks to provide a deeper depth to any dish – including strawberry cheesecake and Aberfeldy 12.

For those looking for something special, Aberfeldy 12 combined with strawberry cheesecake is an indulgent treat sure to hit all the right notes on your palate. The combination highlights both the whisky’s robust character as well as its delicate sweetness – making it an ideal pairing for any time you’re craving something sweet but don’t want to overindulge in sugar.

Glenlivet 12

Glenlivet 12 is an excellent whisky for those looking for a classic yet modern taste. Its maturation in both European and American oak casks imparts a combination of sweet and spicy notes, like cinnamon and nutmeg, as well as intense vanilla notes from its time spent ageing in the American oak.

This makes it an ideal choice to pair with bruschetta with prosciutto and mascarpone, which can be served as an excellent starter. The creamy richness of the mascarpone cheese not only highlights the whisky’s oaky flavours but also enhances its sweeter notes like ripe apricots and peaches. The salinity of the prosciutto, combined with the sweetness of the Glenlivet 12, brings out even more savoury flavours – creating a unique flavour profile that complements each other perfectly.

Prosciutto and mascarpone bruschetta
Prosciutto and mascarpone bruschetta

The addition of ciabatta bread rounds off this delightful combination – adding crunchy texture to balance out the creamy richness of both the cheese and whisky. The delightful toasted notes from the bread blend all of these ingredients together, delivering a truly extraordinary experience that your guests will savour.

The Glenlivet 12’s elongated finish guarantees that its intricate flavours stay on your taste buds, creating a lengthy conclusion that binds all of its components together. Making it the perfect accompaniment for an appetiser like bruschetta with prosciutto and mascarpone!

Searching for a truly special way to begin your evening meal or just savor on its own? Then Glenlivet 12 is the perfect choice. This timeless yet contemporary taste pairs sublimely with bruschetta topped with prosciutto and mascarpone, making it an ideal accompaniment for any celebration!

Stilton Walnut and Apple Salad
Stilton Walnut and Apple Salad

The subtle, smoky notes of Glenlivet 12 whiskey make it the perfect accompaniment to a savoury blue cheese salad – combining sweet-sour flavours in an unforgettable pairing. The whisky’s combination of European and American oak-aged whiskies provide a perfect base for the sweet, tart flavour of green apple, as well as the tang from the blue cheese and celery. The Glenlivet 12’s intense and zesty notes of nutmeg and cinnamon align nicely with the creamy texture of blue cheese, offering a delightful contrast in flavours.

Walnuts provide an added complexity and crunchy texture that balances the smoothness of whisky. Try combining it with honey mustard dressing or balsamic vinegar to create a unique flavour profile like no other!

The lengthy aftertaste of Glenlivet 12 ensures that the many flavours remain on your tongue, providing an extended finish which ties it all together. This makes it a perfect pick for those seeking something special to accompany their salads – whether during dinner or just as a midday indulgence!

Glenlivet 12’s complexity makes it excellent for food pairing, with its blend of European and American oak-matured whiskies providing sweeter aromatics such as honeyed prunes and vanilla fudge – which pair perfectly with crunchy walnuts, tangy blue cheese, crisp celery, and tart green apples in a blue cheese salad. Its powerful yet gentle character brings out even more complex flavours in this classic dish – making it an ideal choice for any occasion.

Check out Glenlivet’s recipes for the above here.

Aberfeldy 12 vs Glenlivet 12: Cocktails

Aberfeldy 12 Gold Fashioned

Aberfeldy has its own “Barrels and Bees” initiative which is focused on helping bartenders source the very best local honey for their signature cocktail: The Aberfeldy Gold Fashioned.

Aberfeldy 12 Gold Fashioned Cocktail
Aberfeldy 12 Gold Fashioned Cocktail

The Aberfeldy Gold Fashioned is a delicious twist on the classic Old Fashioned whisky cocktail. Aberfeldy has crafted this special cocktail by combining their 12-year-old single malt Scotch whisky with local honey and orange bitters, creating a unique flavour profile that layers sweetness, spice, and citrus notes.

The Aberfeldy 12-year-old single malt whisky adds a smooth smokiness to the drink, while its rich oaky flavours provide depth and balance to the sweetness of the honey. The orange bitters add an additional layer of complexity, with its aroma of sweet oranges and subtle spiciness enhancing the floral notes of Aberfeldy’s whisky.

When enjoyed neat or on the rocks, Aberfeldy creates an experience that is both elegant and inviting. However, when combined with other ingredients like local honey and orange bitters – it transforms into something truly special. The Aberfeldy Gold Fashioned is a great way to enjoy Aberfeldy’s unique character in a new way – allowing its complex flavours to shine through in a classic cocktail format.





For a smooth, refreshing whisky cocktail, add honey syrup, bitters and Aberfeldy 12 Years Old to a mixing glass. Stir the mixture with ice until the desired dilution is achieved before pouring it into your rocks glass for serving.

Extract the citrusy aroma of orange by zesting it and mixing its oils into your drink for a vibrant flavour.

Glenlivet 12 Apple Cinnamon Spritz

With its complex combination of European and American oak-matured whiskies, Glenlivet 12 is the perfect choice for any cocktail. Its flavour profile includes sweet notes like vanilla fudge and honeyed prunes as well as more intense flavours such as nutmeg and cinnamon – which pair perfectly with tart apples or a hint of spicy cinnamon to make your drink even more delightful.

The intricate blend of whisky unlocks a plethora of flavours, and its rich finish ensures every element is present in your mouth. It’s smooth texture serves as an ideal base for the tartness of apples combined with the alluring sweetness and aroma of cinnamon. Enjoy this incredible combination today!

Apple and cinnamon fizz cocktail
Apple and cinnamon fizz cocktail

These various elements combine to create a unique flavour profile that is sure to tantalise your taste buds – one where apple and spice intertwine to create something truly special. Furthermore, the Glenlivet 12’s robust character ensures that all these flavours linger on your palate – creating an extended finish that ties together all its various elements.

• 2 parts apple cider

• 1 1/2 parts THE GLENLIVET 12 YEAR OLD

• 1 part simple syrup

• Large pinch ground cinnamon

• 1-inch ice cubes

• Brut sparkling wine or champagne (about 3 parts), chilled

• Apple slices, lemon round, and cinnamon stick for garnish

Pour the apple cider, THE GLENLIVET 12 YEAR OLD, and simple syrup into the bottom of a wine glass. Sprinkle with the cinnamon, add ice, and stir to combine until well chilled. Top with sparkling wine, garnish with apple slices, lemon, and cinnamon stick, and serve immediately.

Aberfeldy 12 vs Glenlivet 12: Final Thoughts

When it comes to Aberfeldy 12 vs Glenlivet 12, both whiskies offer a unique and delicious drinking experience. Aberfeldy’s whisky is smooth and smoky, with oaky notes and floral aromatics.

The indulgent complexity of Glenlivet 12 is unforgettable, with sweet notes of vanilla fudge and an unmistakable hint of nutmeg and cinnamon.

Whether you’re a novice or an enthusiast, these two whiskies are essential additions to any whisky aficionado’s prized collection – and all at budget-friendly prices.

When it comes down to making a choice between Aberfeldy 12 and Glenlivet 12, the preference you make is entirely yours. Enjoying Aberfeldy neat or on ice will provide you with an exquisite smooth taste whereas adding Glenlivet into cocktails brings out its intricate flavour profile like no other whisky! No matter which one of these two fine whiskeys you choose, rest assured that your experience will be nothing short of remarkable!

Author’s pick

Aberfeldy 12 stands out against Glenlivet 12 with its graceful and smoky taste, complemented by notes of oak and delicate floral aromas. This exquisite whisky is both sophisticated and inviting – making it a top pick for any connoisseur! Aberfeldy’s whisky is great for sipping neat or on the rocks, especially when enjoyed with local honey and orange bitters. Sample the flavours of Aberfeldy Gold Fashioned cocktail — a timeless classic that brings out the best in its complex mix. Discover an adventurous way to revel in this unique beverage’s character today!

Aberfeldy’s Golden Dram has gained a remarkable reputation among whisky aficionados worldwide, with its 150 awards from renowned international spirits competitions firmly establishing it as one of the world’s premier spirit brands. The Aberfeldy 12 Year Old is celebrated for its sophisticated flavour profile and exceptional quality.

Aberfeldy offers a more creamy and luxurious body than Glenlivet, which serves as the perfect foundation for its remarkable complexity. This allows each flavour to come through clearly without overwhelming any of them. With this smooth backdrop in place, your taste buds will be delighted with every sip!

When selecting between Aberfeldy 12 vs Glenlivet 12, I’m certain that Aberfeldy is the way to go. It offers a smooth texture and spectrum of intricate flavours, has won numerous awards for its taste and quality, plus it’s perfect for making some delicious cocktails! With Aberfeldy’s whisky in your collection, you can rest assured that you’re getting top-notch single malt scotch that will leave you wanting more!

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