The Glenlivet’s Captain’s Reserve 40%

I was just going to write “get fucked” and be done with it, I’m the Captain and I received a bottle of this from a friend who knows I have real pet hate for Glenlivet ever since they discounted the 12 Year Old, my first true love, and replaced with, with, with, you know what it triggers me even typing the words.

It’s a shame in a way, Glenlivet still do some lovely whiskies, the 12 is back, sort of, the 18 is excellent although I noticed it’s been creeping up in price and there are some very decent cask strength numbers, but then they ruin it all with that code thing and this absolute travesty of a whisky.

I don’t normally do negative reviews as you’ll know, partly because whisky tasting is extremely subjective and because I just think it’s a bit mean, but sometimes I make exceptions, and this is one of them.

I write under an alter ego, a rogue of a man, a lively spirit and one that sometimes says things that I as me wouldn’t, The Captain is a larger, more confident, perhaps more arrogant and brutal version of myself and I’m beginning to think Glenlivet are doing the same with some of these whiskies, an alter ego of a whisky, so far removed from decent Glenlivet that I’m surprised they haven’t been sued by themselves for fraudulent use of the name.

I’ve taken this neat because water just makes it last longer.

Nose. It’s not a subtle drink, I’ve seen subtler stabbings than this noses, damp wood, cheap almost synthetic honey, damp towels, cheap chocolate drinking powder.

Palate. Cheap honey and cheap wood, the cognac feel is so distant as to be unrecognisable, some white pepper and a bit of liquorice. Where is the cognac? Tiny wee bit of apple juice and some boiled orange sweets.

Finish. A short finish, which we should all be grateful for.

I went into this expecting nothing and wasn’t let down, I know I’m bitter over the 12 Year Old but this is rubbish and I’ve actually reviewed this for two reasons.

  1. I’ve read a few reviews of this and I can’t get my head around anyone having a positive experience with this, I’d honestly rather smoke Spice than drink this again.
  2. I love Cognac and have a horrible feeling people will drink this and be put off drinking Cognac for life thinking that this is what it would be like, and it’s not, decent cognacs are not only superb value for money it is a warming, relaxing and wonderful drinking experience and this whisky is not a good example of what a drink can be.

This is their cheapest whisky dumped into knackered cognac barrels for five minutes and they whack a tenner or more on the price, this is not the way whisky should be.

The Captain’s Reserve? Fuck off.

The Captain.





  1. I’m not normally a fan of negativity, but this was funny as hell. I don’t buy NAS (or any single malt, really) unless I’ve tried it and/or it has an abundance of positive reviews, like Ardbeg Uigeadail. I was not very impressed with Glenlivet’s 18 Year Old. It was ok, nothing more. Frankly, Glendronach 12 is less than half the price and is a much better whisky.


  2. I don’t tend to do negative reviews but products like this anger me so much I thought it was worth writing up.


  3. It’s always nice to see the odd comment on here rather than facebook or Twitter. I just hate the fake news bullshit which is enveloping the blogging community. Anyone publishing press releases for whiskies they’d never buy with their own money is ruining this for everyone, not least unsuspecting punters.


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