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Glenfiddich 12 vs. The Glenlivet 12: A Single Malt Showdown

glenfiddich single malt scotch range 232x300 Glenfiddich 12 vs. The Glenlivet 12: A Single Malt ShowdownWorld’s Best Seller vs. America’s #1

by Matt Goldstein & Amy K. Haight

The Glenfiddich 12 Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky is the number 1 selling single malt scotch in the world, it’s also the most awarded single malt scotch in the world, while the Glenlivet 12 Year is the number 1 selling single malt in the United States.  We thought we’d have theses classic mainstream scotches go head to head in a blind taste test.  Of course we had a favorite going but we were wondering if the other could pull off the upset.  A Glenfiddich executive told us that the reason that the Glenlivet is the number 1 single malt in the United States is because in the 1950’s, the Glenlivet had a major marketing campaign in the United States and that the brand has been a rock ever since.  Of course, Glenfiddich is not too far behind.

Tasting Notes of the Glenfiddich 12 Year Single Malt:

With a golden brown color and reddish tint, the Glenfiddich is sweet with notes of caramel, honey but slightly sour, bitter, complex, and slightly dry.  Very solid.


glenlivet single malt scotch range 300x205 Glenfiddich 12 vs. The Glenlivet 12: A Single Malt ShowdownTasting Notes of the Glenlivet 12 Year Single Malt:

The Glenlivet is sweet, thick, delicious, slightly complex and very similar but with just a bit more bight.  It’s a bit stronger with a bit more alcohol taste.  Pretty damn good.


Although the competition was very close, the Glenfiddich 12 Year was the unanimous choice for its beautifully sweet flavor.  Glenfiddich has a more enjoyable mouth feel, with a smooth thick finish and no burn whatsoever.  Normally, we like bite and don’t always choose the smoothest spirit as the winner but in this case the nod goes to Glenfiddich.  Don’t get us wrong, we like the Glenlivet and feel that both single malts are overlooked by many Scotch whisky snobs.  Both single malts have very solid ranges and some other their other years can compete with the best single malts in the world.




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7 comments to Glenfiddich 12 vs. The Glenlivet 12: A Single Malt Showdown

  • Glinlivit has always been my go to single malt, and has now replaced the better blends in my cabinet. But a friend recommended the Glenfiddich and gave me on for my birthday. (75). I enjoy it, but plan to return to the.Glenlivit when I have finished the bottle. For an incredible taste, try the 18 year old Glenlivit.


  • I concurr with your list,sir………


  • Joe Smith

    The one to have is Macallan but it kills my budget so I usually (except for Christmas time) go with Glen Livet. However, I don’t recall ANY single malt that is terrible


  • Rafał

    I have the same experience to Suzanne. Glenlivet has more tasty character and a bit of some citrus taste I love.


  • Justin B



    billy hendrix Reply:

    I concurr with your list,sir………


  • I definitely prefer Glenlivet over Glenfiddich…which surprised me, because all I ever hear people talk about is Glenfiddich. I thought maybe they had better marketing or something. But I find Glenlivet to be the better tasting scotch.


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