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The Glenlivet

After the 1823 Excise Act, George Smith became the first distiller in the Highlands to obtain a license for distillation and, in 1824, he established The Glenlivet on what was once a farm distillery called Upper Drummin. Many of the neighbouring distilleries were illegally run and involved in smuggling. They became indignant, for George Smith was running Glenlivet by legal means. Such was the tempest of their fury that George had to carry a pair pistols for protection.

Originally 'Gow', the family name became the more Anglo-sounding 'Smith' following Bonnie Prince Charlie’s 1746 defeat at the battle of Culloden. The Gows changed their name to escape the resultant subjugation which ensued. The Glenlivet has always been a name associated with quality, to such a degree that other distilleries would use the name, no matter how distant they were from the Livet glen.

To help preserve his brand, George Smith’s son, John Gordon Smith, applied for sole rights to the name, which were granted in 1884. The name still crops up elsewhere. However, by law, other brands must hyphenate it with their own names and cannot use it solely. The large distillery, with a capacity of 5.8 million litres per annum, is owned by Chivas Brothers, themselves a subsidiary of Pernod Ricard. Today, The Glenlivet is the world’s second best-selling single malt and is the top seller in the US.

The Glenlivet Whisky Distillery

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About The Glenlivet Whisky Distillery

Distillery Number

01340 821720

Distillery Founded

1824

1859

1859 – Upper Drummin and Cairngorm close and all equipment is brought to Minmore which is renamed The Glenlivet Distillery.

Distillery Capacity

5 800 000 litres

Distillery Status

Active

Distillery Address

Ballindalloch, Banffshire AB37 9DB

Distillery Owner

Chivas Brothers

Distillery Address

Minmore, Ballindalloch, Banffshire

Distillery Website

www.theglenlivet.com

1817

George Smith inherits the farm distillery Upper Drummin from his father Andrew Smith who has been distilling on the site since 1774.

1840

George Smith buys Delnabo farm near Tomintoul and leases Cairngorm Distillery. His son William takes over operations at Upper Drummin.

1845

George Smith leases three other farms, one of which is situated on the river Livet and is called Minmore.

1846

William Smith develops tuberculosis and his brother John Gordon moves back home to assist his father. Sales of Smith’s Glenlivet increases steadily and neither Upper Drummin nor Cairngorm Distillery can meet demand.

1864

George Smith cooperates with the whisky agent Andrew P. Usher and exports the whisky with great success.

1871

George Smith dies and his son John Gordon takes over.

1880

John Gordon Smith applies for and is granted sole rights to the name The Glenlivet. Only Glenlivet Distillery may thus use the name. All distilleries wishing to use Glenlivet in their names must from now hyphenate it with their brand names.

1890

A fire breaks out and some of the buildings are replaced.

1896

Another two stills are installed.

1901

John Gordon Smith dies.

1904

John Gordon’s nephew George Smith Grant takes over.

1921

Captain Bill Smith Grant, son of George Smith Grant, takes over.

1953

George & J. G. Smith Ltd merges with J. & J. Grant of Glen Grant Distillery and forms the company Glenlivet & Glen Grant Distillers Ltd.

1966

Floor maltings closes.

1970

Glenlivet & Glen Grant Distillers Ltd merges with Longmorn-Glenlivet Distilleries Ltd and Hill Thomson & Co. Ltd to form The Glenlivet Distillers Ltd.

1978

Seagrams buys The Glenlivet Distillers Ltd. A visitor centre opens.

1996

– The visitor centre is expanded, and a multimedia facility installed.

2000

French Oak 12 years and American Oak 12 years are launched

2001

Pernod Ricard and Diageo buy Seagram Spirits & Wine. Pernod Ricard thereby gain control of the Chivas group.

2004

This year sees a lavish relaunch of

2005

Two new duty-free versions are introduced – The Glenlivet 12 year old First Fill and Nadurra, a 16 year old non chill-filtered matured in first-fill bourbon casks. The 1972 Cellar Collection (2,015 bottles) is launched.

2006

Nadurra 16 year old cask strength and 1969 Cellar Collection are released. Glenlivet sells more than 500,000 cases for the first time in one year.

2007

Glenlivet XXV is released.

Reproduced from the Malt Whisky Yearbook 2009 with the kind permission of Mr Ingvar Ronde

Tasting Sets
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Master of Malt Single Cask Whisky
A 16 year old single malt Scotch whisky from one of the top Speyside distilleries, Glenlivet. This particular release was aged in a sherry butt, from May 1996 to November 2012. Signatory bottled cask...  More info
$123.55
This was distilled at the Glenlivet distillery on the 5th November 1981 before a 30 year maturation in a single cask (sherry hogshead number 9457). It was bottled for Signatory's Cask Strength...  More info
$254.30
Signatory's Un-Chillfiltered Collection has been wildly popular and we're sure that this addition to the range will fly off the shelves like a racing pigeon that's just seen a massive bag tasty, tasty...  More info
$80.13
Part of a collection of 12 year old single malt Glenlivet whiskies, all with an accompanying presentation tin featuring a different golf course in Scotland. This one features the Royal Dornoch golf...  More info
$204.81
Cask strength Glenlivet single malt, bottled by Signatory! Yum yum! 603 bottles were produced from cask 157421, a sherry butt, when it was opened in October 2013.  More info
$133.50
This is a Director's Cut bottling of a sherry cask Glenlivet bottled at 35 years of age by Douglas Laing. This is a fresh and fruity cask-strength bottling with great depth of flavour.  More info
$355.60
This is the St Andrews edition of Glenlivet's Classic Golf Courses of Scotland series, released in the 1980s. It includes a 12 year old Glenlivet single malt Scotch whisky and a presentation tin...  More info
$204.81
A glorious single cask Glenlivet, distilled in April 1992 and aged for 19 years in a refill hogshead before bottling for Douglas Laing's Old Malt Cask range in August of 2011. A release of 283...  More info
$135.62
A Glenlivet standing strong at an astonishing 52.5% after a full 30 years in cask 6669. Stunning Speyside whisky.  More info
$206.12
A barely believable 1977 (!) Glenlivet from top-notch bottler Wemyss. Astonishing stuff and only 149 bottles available!  More info
$239.91
A single cask release of Glenlivet single malt Scotch whisky from cask 79239, which happened to be a first fill sherry butt. Distilled in May 1996, and disgorged in May 2013. There was enough for 774...  More info
$83.77
Whisky collectors, feast your eyes upon this little beauty! It's a 38cl bottle of 12 year old Glenlivet single malt Scotch whisky from the 1970s.  More info
$102.40
A very rare 11 year old Glenlivet from a single cask. A fraction of the price that an official release would be, bottled in 2013 by Douglas Laing.  More info
$96.34
An ice bucket off of them there Glenlivet. Use to store ice and chilled water.  More info
$18.76
From the Signatory Cask Strength Collection comes this fourteen year old Glenlivet, bottled from its sherry cask just six days before it turned fifteen.  More info
$122.51
A 16 year old Glenlivet from Signatory. Releases from this distillery are getting rarer, peeps… This one was matured in a single first fill Sherry butt. Yummers.  More info
$80.13
This was distilled at the Glenlivet distillery on the 25th June 1996 before a 14 year maturation in sherry butt number 105515 before bottling on the 17th August 2010. A release of 615 numbered...  More info
$105.73
A beautiful single cask Glenlivet, which was distilled on the 6th July 1994 before it was aged in cask number 4014 (a first fill butt) for 17 years before bottling at natural cask strength on the 14th...  More info
$264.46
A stunning old Glenlivet distilled on the 26th November 1954 and aged for 56 years in first sherry hogshead #2736. This comes from the private collection of Michael GC Urquhart (the Director at Gordon...  More info
$2116.25
Based on three hand selected first fill American oak barrels of Glenlivet single malt, distilled in 1980 and bottled in 2011 after 31 years of ageing. A release of around 500 bottles. This is rare...  More info
$1729.56
This was distilled at Glenlivet on the 4th October 1990 and it was aged in cask 22393 for 20 years before bottling in April of 2011 for the Mackillop's Choice range. Each bottle is individually...  More info
A cask strength 16 year old Glenlivet bottled for their Nadurra range. An intense, creamy whisky - this is Batch 1210M.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$73.99
Distilled at the Glenlivet distillery in November 1981, this was aged in cask 9624 for 30 years before bottling in November 2011. A release of 217 numbered bottles.  More info
A wonderful Glenlivet, launched for Travel Retail. This was launched in honor of Alan Winchester, who has been master distiller at the distillery since 2009. He created this whisky with European oak...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$75.35
This was distilled at Glenlivet in June 1977 and it was aged in a single refill hogshead for 34 years. It was bottled in September 2011 by Douglas Laing, and there are just 232 bottles…  More info
$266.16
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