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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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They’ve done it again! The second in Gordon and MacPhail’s Generations range, that’s right, the second ever 70 year old whisky! It looks unbelievable when written down, but this genuinely is a 70 year...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
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 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
A 33 year old, cask strength Glenlivet, selected by Bruichladdich's Master Distillery Jim McEwan, and bottled in his Celtic Heartlands range.  More info
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
From Duncan Taylor's Legendary Peerless range, this 40 year old Glenlivet was distilled in 1970, and bttled at cask strength. Everything from the Peerless range is super-aged in either bourbon, sherry...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (1.5/5)
This is a 40 year old, single cask, cask strength (even though it's 40%, it wasn't diluted, it came out of the cask at this strength) Glenlivet, aged in a bourbon cask. This was distilled in 1970 and...  More info
This was distilled at the Glenlivet distillery in July 1987, and aged for 22 years in cask number 47252 before bottling in February 2010. A release of 317 cask strength, individually numbered bottles.  More info
A release of just 450 stunning decanters from Jim McEwan's Celtic Heartlands range. This beautiful 33 year old Glenlivet was matured in bourbon casks. The result is a thick, rich and malty whisky -...  More info
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 sample bottle of Glenlivet, bottled by Adelphi. This was distilled in 1994, matured for 14 years in cask number 61416 and bottled in 2009 at cask strength, as part of a release of 560 bottles.  More info
Single cask Speyside whisky from the Glenlivet distillery. This was distilled in February 1970 and aged for 39 years in cask number 2003 before bottling in September of 2009 by Duncan Taylor for their...  More info
A 30 year old single cask Speyside. Distilled at Glenlivet in August 1979 and aged for 30 years in a refill hogshead before bottling August 2009. A release of 217 bottles.  More info
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)
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)
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)
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
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
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
$198.85
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
$198.85
Over 50 years in the making, older vintages of Glenlivet are becoming increasingly rare - invest while you can!  More info
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
$198.85
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)
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 (4.0/5)
Distilled at The Glenlivet in 1983 and aged in French Limousin casks before it was bottled in 2003.  More info
$246.08
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