Monday, May 18, 2015

RIP to a classic – The Glenlivet 12yo on the way out fast

Move over The Glenlivet 12 Year Old. In time your memory will fade.

For those not aware the classic Glenlivet 12yo has been confirmed to be leaving Australian shores and being replaced with a less than interesting Founder’s Reserve expression. Though we knew some markets would be losing it, I personally did not think Australia would be one of them. Hell we are a small country, could we impact that greatly on stocks? Well it seems this is not an aged stock issue at all. I had heard rumour of Australia taking the hit but, hearing it from the Pernod Ricard reps confirms without doubt.

In my tasting experience, at the recent Whisky Show Sydney, I found the Founder's Reserve to be a poor substitute for such a classic whisky. Pernod Ricard sight that an educated market does not need to have age statement whiskies anymore but, can appreciate a whisky without knowing how old it is!! No wait should that not be the other way around?

Let as not mistake the fact I like many NAS (No Age Statement) whiskies and in fact there is probably more I can appreciate than not. This issue though is not about low stocks nor about a replacement with a better product. The point is it is an iconic whisky of exceptional quality at a great price point now being replaced with a more expensive, lower grade product in taste and texture.

I can see this as a bit of a reaction by Pernod Ricard wanting to maintain market shares as they lose ground in an expanding global market. Reports have continued to circulate that there is not an aged stock issue driving this move. An interesting article written by Oliver Kilmek over at, written back in Feb 2015 when the news first hit, covered off many of these issues. I suggest you have a read.

I can imagine that these big players will in fact return to age statement whiskies soon enough once our markets are flooded with NAS whiskies by the micro distillers popping up. Unfortunately the damage may have already been done. Remember what has happened to the general feeling now on The Macallan 1824 Series core NAS range in Australia. Big price, flat profile.

It it a real pity to be seeing this happen so if you a keen Glenlivet 12yo enthusiast, start buying a few cases now. Yes a few cases and pop them in the cellar. Though it will still be available in some markets you can imagine the price increase locally will increase significantly once the removal occurs in much the same way as when the JW Green label also left our shores.

How long before we see the 15yo and 18yo also disappear? The Glenlivet are going to have to start working pretty hard to win me over on this issue. In the meantime I have started stocking up.

The Baron

This is a non-sponsord announcement. For any further details please defer to the Glenlivet website. We have not been supplied any official press information on the release of the Founder's Reserve. All views and opinions are our own unless otherwise stated.