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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

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This single cask, cask strength Glenlivet was distilled on the 10th June 1985, and aged in hogshead 19750 for 25 years before bottling on the 13th January 2011. A release of 212 bottles.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$115.80
Single cask Glenlivet. This was distilled in July 1987, matured in cask number 47134 and bottled by Duncan Taylor for their Rare Auld range in February 2010. Part of a release of 429 bottles.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
The entry level bottling from the illustrious Glenlivet distillery at Speyside's heart, aged for 12 years. The archetypal Speyside dram, honey and orchard fruit driven.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
A cask strength 40 year old from The Glenlivet, a winner of a Gold Medal at the 2005 International Spirits Challenge.  More info
Distilled in 1961, this is a very rare and collectible bottle of Glenlivet from Gordon and MacPhail's "Smith's Glenlivet" range. Full-bodied with a lovely rich, malty flavour...  More info
$502.16
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 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)
$74.15
A 14 year old, Single Cask Glenlivet, aged in a sherry butt and bottled at natural cask strength in 2011. The cask had an outturn of 526 bottles.  More info
$93.16
A single cask Glenlivet, this was matured in ex bourbon hogshead number 13515, a cask with just 163 bottles of 31 year old Glenlivet, bottled by Adelphi.  More info
A 31 year old single cask whisky from the legendary Glenlivet distillery in Speyside. Bottled at cask strength by Signatory, this fantastic single malt from cask 9631 is sure to be mightily popular. A...  More info
$234.44
This is an excellent single cask bottling of one of the world's best selling single malt whiskies. Signatory have bottled this Glenlivet at a natural cask strength of 53.5% without chill-filtration or...  More info
$250.27
This Glenlivet was bottled for Gordon and MacPhail’s Distillery Range and is an impressively aged whisky from the famous distillery of Glenlivet.  More info
$378.60
A single cask from one of Scotland's most famed distilleries. This was distilled in April 1996 at The Glenlivet in Speyside and matured for 13 years before bottling in October of 2009. A release of...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
This is an old edition of the lovely Glenlivet 12 year old. Aged in a mix of casks, this is a classic Speyside dram with oodles of honey and orchard fruit. Beautiful.

This is a rare, auction item...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$100.68
This was distilled at the Glenlivet distillery on the 3rd December 1985 and matured for 22 years in hogshead number 19746 before bottling at cask strength by Signatory on the 29th July 2008. Part of a...  More info
Jim Murray describes this 16 year old cask strength as "pure entertainment"! The name Nadurra derives from the Gaelic word for 'natural'. A really enjoyable Glenlivet. This is the old, discontinued...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
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
$104.04
A single cask Glenlivet, this was distilled in 1968 and matured for 41 years before bottling by Duncan Taylor.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
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
$2082.46
A Signatory bottling from the Glenlivet distillery - the classic Speyside malt maker! This one has a beautiful colour, having been matured for 14 years in a first fill sherry butt (cask number...  More info
A cask strength 1991 vintage Glenlivet, this is a single barley edition of Nadurra, in this case the Triumph variety. Very tasty indeed.  More info
A single cask, cask-strength Glenlivet from the Nadurra range - aged for 16 years in a bourbon barrel before bottling in September 2011. This is Batch 0911P. Stunning stuff.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$83.12
A single cask Glenlivet, this was distilled on the 19th September 1995, and aged in first fill sherry butt number 144357 before bottling on the 26th November 2010. A release of 792 bottles.  More info
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
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