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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 is a rare 1965 bottling of The Glenlivet by George and J.G.Smith.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$416.14
This is a 1966 Glenlivet from Gordon and MacPhail's Distillery Range. Perfect for reminiscing about a certain World Cup victory...  More info
$398.61
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
$384.01
This is a 1974 Glenlivet bottled by Gordon & MacPhail of Elgin as part of their Distillery Label range.  More info
$262.25
An antique bottle of The Glenlivet 12 year old, from the 1970s. What type of whisky is it, you ask? Why, it's "Unblended all malt Scotch whisky" (single malt), of course!  More info
$204.42
A 70cl bottle 12 year old Glenlivet single malt Scotch whisky, released as part of the Classic Golf Courses of Scotland collection in the 1980s. The presentation tin features the St Andrew golf...  More info
$204.42
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)
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
$204.42
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
$204.42
A Classic Golf Courses of Scotland bottling of 12 year old Glenlivet single malt Scotch whisky from the 1980s. This one features the Turnberry gold course on its presentation tin. Did you know the...  More info
$204.42
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)
$102.12
The cask strength third release of Glenlivet's Nadurra, this was bottled in April 2010 and it has a rich and fruity palate.  More info
Nadurra is an excellent cask-strength release from the Glenlivet distillery, made in bourbon casks and aged for 16 years. This is Batch 0512T, released in 2012.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$77.49
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)
$84.30
A cask strength Glenlivet. The Nadurra series has been very well-loved, thanks to the incredible character the whiskies offer. This is a particularly characterful batch of Nadurra.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$73.76
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)
$73.84
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
$263.95
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 1972 and bottled on the 24th August 2005, a rare cask strength release from The Glenlivet.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$776.32
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
$1726.25
Distilled at The Glenlivet in 1983 and aged in French Limousin casks before it was bottled in 2003.  More info
$252.96
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
$354.92
The Glenlivet Alpha
(70cl, 50%)
Strictly 1 per customer

Here, we have something unique. A limited release of 3,350 bottles (only 600 in the UK!) of pure mystery and intrigue. The label says "from The Glenlivet Distillery", and at...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$165.46
An ice bucket off of them there Glenlivet. Use to store ice and chilled water.  More info
$18.72
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)
$75.21
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