Why super smooth single malt scotch should be your new go-to spirit

Dec 10 2020, 2:29 pm

There are many stereotypes when it comes to drinking single malt.

People seem to think it’s a drink for whisky aficionados or that you have to be boujee to enjoy it. In reality, these stigmas couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Single malt — particularly a premium single malt like The Glenlivet — offers something for a wide variety of palates and price points.

So, what is single malt anyway? In short, it’s a whisky produced at one distillery and made using only malted barley. It’s known for its sweet sips and smooth, creamy finish.

So whether you’re new to the spirit or simply eager to learn more, here are some pointers to help get you started.

Single malt is for everyone and anytime

Single malt isn’t just for grumpy old men in charge of Parks and Recreation departments. It’s 2020 and single malt is for anyone and everyone — whether you want to enjoy it at brunch, on the patio, or with great food and company.

Starting to picture yourself in this scene? Not sure if you’re a single malt fan? Already love it, but unsure where to go from here? The first step is always the same: you have to choose the right single malt scotch to suit your mood and occasion. 

Find your single malt match

The Glenlivet/@Corby.Claire

Staring at a wall of bottles can be intimidating, we get it. That’s why we’ve enlisted the help of Claire Freel, The Glenlivet’s Portfolio Consultant, resident mixologist, and all-around whisky guru.

A great introductory single malt is The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve with notes of fruit, a touch of sweetness, toffee, and subtle anise flavours. This single malt was made in honour of the founder George Smith and can stand beautifully on its own or can be a great complement to fruity cocktails.

More into a single malt that packs a citrus punch? The Glenlivet 12 Year Old is aged in both European and American Oak casks to give a well-balanced and tropical fruit flavour. Or, for a richer, deeper flavour, try The Captain’s Reserve, finished in ex-cognac casks for at least six months

For something on the nuttier side, give the The Glenlivet 15 Year Old a go. It’s finished in Limousin oak casks to impart a unique nutty spiciness to the lingering fruity finish the brand is known for. Another bottle worth trying is The Glenlivet 18 Year Old, a complex single malt aged in a combination of casks. This is the bottle to get for celebrations.

There are no wrong answers when it comes to single malt. It’s just about expanding your palate and finding the right bottle (or three) to add to your home bar.

Enjoy neat, on the rocks, or in a cocktail 

After you explore your different options and buy the bottle of single malt that speaks to you, it’s time to enjoy. This might feel intimidating, but it shouldn’t.

For the perfect pour, put two fingers against the side of your glass, pour to the top of those two fingers, and give it a sip. Maybe you love it and the work is done. That was easy! Maybe you just feel like having it a little colder. Go ahead and add some ice or a little water. It’s totally okay, we promise. This will dilute the scotch as well to ease the warmth of the alcohol.

If you want your single malt colder, but love the taste as it is, invest in some whisky stones. They not only work, but look really cool. Add a tiny bit of water at first if you wish, then a little bit more — until the taste is where you want it to be.

Our favourite single malt cocktail

Once you’ve found your favourite, you can switch things up with a cocktail if you’re in the mood. For those wintry evenings at home, the Spiced Coffee Spey is sure to be a crowd-pleaser

Start by warming a small wine glass with boiling water. Pour out the hot water, then mix 1/2 oz of liquid chocolate, 2 oz The Glenlivet 12 Year, 4 oz coffee, 1/4 oz simple syrup, and a pinch of cayenne pepper together into the heated glass.

Finish things off by pouring 1 1/2 oz lightly whipped double cream over the back of a spoon to create a creamy layer. Add an extra touch by garnishing with chocolate shavings and a final pinch of cayenne pepper.

Any cocktail made with whisky can be redesigned using The Glenlivet. Old Fashioned fan? Make it with The Glenlivet 18 Year Old. Sucker for a whisky sour? Shake it up with some Captain’s Reserve, the perennial favourite.


The Glenlivet is a brand with a storied past that’s set on creating a progressive present — a move that’s making major waves in the world of whisky. With a flavour profile and price range to suit every taste, there’s a Glenlivet for everyone. 

For more information, check out the The Glenlivet website and @theglenlivet on Instagram, the best place begin your journey.

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