Currency and Delivery Country

We're just loading our login box for you, hang on!

The Glenlivet

The Glenlivet rather grandly styles itself as “the single malt that started it all” but there’s more than a grain of truth to its claim. In the early 18th and 19th century most Highland malt whisky was distilled illegally. Despite its shady beginnings, Glenlivet had a reputation that reached as far as London. Indeed when George IV visited the region in 1822, he wanted to try the fabled Glenlivet and was given something that was described as “whisky long in wood, long in uncorked bottles, mild as milk, and the true contraband gout in it.”

The man behind that famed dram was George Smith, a tenant farmer on land belonging to Alexander Gordon, Duke of Gordon. The Duke, not surprisingly, was a great advocate for reforming the draconian legislation around distilling so that he could commercialise it. 1823 saw the passing of the Excise Act which liberalised distilling but also provided more resources and power to excise officers. One of the first people to take advantage of the new laws was George Smith who built a new distillery at Glenlivet in the Highlands on what was once a farm distillery called Upper Drummin.

Threats were made on George Smith’s life by smugglers and the story goes that he took to carrying a pair of pistols to protect himself against those who stood to lose their livelihoods but he held firm. In this he was backed by government legislation and a sympathetic landlord. The statistics tell the story: 14000 illicit distilling activities were uncovered in 1823, but by 1834 it was down to 692. Illicit distillation never became a major problem again.

In just two years after the act, the number of licensed distilleries doubled and legal whisky production rose from two million to six million gallons a year. Glenlivet was so prestigious that it gave its name to the whole region, now known as Speyside. To help preserve his brand, George Smith’s son, John Gordon Smith, applied for sole rights to the name, which were granted in 1884 but allowed other producers to hyphenate it with their own names eg. Glenfarclas-Glenlivet, which is still seen today, though very rarely. Which is why the original is known grandly as THE Glenlivet to differentiate itself from all those hyphenated Glenlivets.

Glenlivet made a different style of whisky to that which was current in the region, producing a lighter fruitier new make, something that has continued to this day. The whisky was such a success that he built another distillery in 1850 at Delnabo which never really functioned properly due to problems with the water supply. There were further problems when the original distillery burned down in 1858, something of a perennial problem in the whisky business. In 1859, he opened a new distillery near Ballindalloch where it remains to this day.

As well as being sold as a single malt, Glenlivet was much in demand by blenders. Blended whisky was taking off in the 19th century, most notably by Edinburg merchant Andrew Usher with his OVG (Old Vatted Glenlivet) which was launched in 1852 and had The Glenlivet as a principle component in the blend. By the 20th century the vast majority of the distillery’s production was going for fillings but in the 1970s Glenlivet once again began to market itself as a single malt, especially in the lucrative US market.

The distillery remained in family hands until in 1952, when it merged with Glen Grant and eventually formed a small group with Longmorn and Benriach distilleries, and the firm of blenders Hill, Thompson & Co. Then, in 1978, Canadian multinational Seagram took a £46 million controlling stake in the business and The Glenlivet became part of the Chivas Brothers portfolio. When Seagram collapsed in 2001, Pernod Ricard took over Chivas Brothers. Under this new ownership, as part of a £10 million investment, an extension with an additional mash tun, eight washbacks and six stills was opened by the Prince of Wales on 5 June 2010, with the capacity of the distillery increased by 75%, to 10.5 million litres per year.

Today the set-up consists of two 13.5 ton mash tuns with 16 Oregon pine and 16 stainless steel washbacks. Distillation takes place in 14 lamp-glass copper stills. The distillery uses unpeated malt and according to former master distiller Alan Winchester still carries the DNA of George Smith’s mid 19th century Glenlivet. The range stretches from the sweet honeyed Founder’s Reserve, through classic age statements like the 12 and 18 year olds, takes in cask finishes like the rum barrel Caribbean Reserve, and goes up to stratospherically expensive very old releases. The Glenlivet is the best-selling single malt in America and the second best-selling in the world.

The Glenlivet 12 Year Old Licensed Dram - The Original Stories

70cl, 48%

The second addition to The Original Stories series from The Glenlivet! This expression follows The Glenlivet 12 Year Old - Illicit Still, and celebrates the next chapter in the history of the…  More info

The Glenlivet 12 Year Old Licensed Dram - The Original Stories
2
£49.95

The Glenlivet 15 Year Old French Oak Reserve

70cl, 40%

This 15 year old expression from The Glenlivet, was matured in French Limousin Oak casks. Limousin Oak is a popular choice for maturation of Cognac.  More info

The Glenlivet 15 Year Old French Oak Reserve
162
£59
Price Drop

The Glenlivet 18 Year Old

70cl, 40%

This excellent 18 year old single malt Scotch whisky from Glenlivet is a classic Speyside dram, matured in a combination of first and second fill American oak and sherry casks. It also won two golds…  More info

The Glenlivet 18 Year Old
115
£104.99
£102.99
Price Drop

The Glenlivet 12 Year Old

70cl, 40%

Excellent 12 year old single malt from the Glenlivet Distillery in Speyside, which enjoys its maturation in both European and American oak casks. It's an immensely popular expression which…  More info

The Glenlivet 12 Year Old
20
£39.94
£37.99

The Glenlivet Captain's Reserve

70cl, 40%

An intriguing release from The Glenlivet, been finished in ex-Cognac casks for a ‘raisin-rich’ intensity, along with citrus notes and a creamy smoothness. Whisky finished in Cognac casks is not a…  More info

The Glenlivet Captain's Reserve
25
£52.99

The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve

70cl, 40%

A tropical expression from The Glenlivet, for Caribbean Reserve a portion of the whisky was finished in casks which previously held Caribbean rum. The distillery folks suggest adding a splash of…  More info

The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve
39
£37.44

The Glenlivet Founder's Reserve

70cl, 40%

First revealed towards the end of 2014, the Founder's Reserve single malt Scotch whisky is now available in the UK and will be replacing The Glenlivet 12 year old in many of the mature markets…  More info

The Glenlivet Founder's Reserve
386
£32.99

Glenlivet 16 Year Old 2006 (cask 900800) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 60.7%

An independently-bottled Glenlivet single malt from Signatory, distilled in August 2006. It rested in a single first-fill sherry butt for the next 16 years before being bottled in November 2022 as…  More info

Glenlivet 16 Year Old 2006 (cask 900800) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
£105

The Glenlivet Triple Cask Matured - White Oak Reserve 1L

100cl, 40%

Plenty of vanilla and sweet caramel notes to be found here in this litre bottle of The Glenlivet Triple Cask Matured White Oak Reserve. The Speyside single malt Scotch has a high proportion of whisky…  More info

The Glenlivet Triple Cask Matured - White Oak Reserve 1L
£74.95

The Glenlivet Spectra (3 x 20cl)

60cl, 40%

Glenlivet has a history of releasing rather mysterious whiskies (Alpha, Cipher and Code, for example), and they're at it again with The Glenlivet Spectra! This time, Glenlivet master distiller Alan…  More info

The Glenlivet Spectra (3 x 20cl)
£99.89

The Glenlivet 12 Year Old - Classic Golf Courses of Scotland (Royal Dornoch) - 1990s

70cl, 40%

A beautiful bottle and presentation tin of The Glenlivet 12 Year Old that was launched back in the 1990s to celebrate the classic gold courses of Scotland. In this case, the Royal Dornoch golf course…  More info

The Glenlivet 12 Year Old - Classic Golf Courses of Scotland (Royal Dornoch) - 1990s
£199

Avonside-Glenlivet 33 Year Old 1938

75cl, 43%

A rare bottle of Avonside-Glenlivet single malt, distilled in 1938 and bottled 33 years later by Gordon & MacPhail. The naming was a result of Glenlivet taking legal action against other distillers…  More info

Avonside-Glenlivet 33 Year Old 1938
£2,000

Avonside-Glenlivet 35 Year Old 1938

75cl, 43%

Feast your eyes upon a very rare bottle of Avonside-Glenlivet 35 year old, distilled all the way back in 1938 and bottled by Gordon & MacPhail. This bottle was part of a private collection - if…  More info

Avonside-Glenlivet 35 Year Old 1938
£2,495

The Glenlivet Code

70cl, 48%

Following on from the intriguing Alpha and Cipher expressions, Glenlivet Code is another mysterious (and delicious) single malt Scotch whisky from the legendary distillery. Once again, they have…  More info

The Glenlivet Code
1

The Glenlivet 1983 - Cellar Collection

70cl, 46%

Distilled at The Glenlivet in 1983 and aged in French Limousin casks before it was bottled in 2003. This bottle was part of a private collection - if you'd like more detailed photos just get in…  More info

The Glenlivet 1983 - Cellar Collection
2

The Glenlivet Master Distiller's Reserve Small Batch

70cl, 40%

Originally released for the Travel Retail market, the Master Distiller's Reserve Small Batch from Glenlivet is made with specially selected casks, including first-fill ex-Sherry casks, first-fill…  More info

The Glenlivet Master Distiller's Reserve Small Batch
9

The Glenlivet Master Distiller's Reserve - Solera Vatted

100cl, 40%

One of two new Master Distiller's releases from the summer of 2015, originally for travel retail. The Solera Reserve, like the others in the range, is made up of whiskies matured in ex-Sherry casks,…  More info

The Glenlivet Master Distiller's Reserve - Solera Vatted
12

The Glenlivet Nàdurra Peated Whisky Cask Finish Batch PW0717

70cl, 61.8%

This release from The Glenlivet Nàdurra series has enjoyed a finishing period in casks that previously contained peated whisky. This has imparted a subtle smoky element to the whisky, which is apt,…  More info

The Glenlivet Nàdurra Peated Whisky Cask Finish Batch PW0717
1

The Glenlivet Nàdurra Peated Whisky Cask Finish Batch PW1016

70cl, 62%

Another batch from Glenlivet's fantastic Nàdurra range. Coming from the Peated Whisky Cask Finish series with the Nàdurra range, this cask strength, non-chill-filtered single malt has enjoyed a…  More info

The Glenlivet Nàdurra Peated Whisky Cask Finish Batch PW1016
2

Glenlivet 10 Year Old 2007 (cask 900255) - Un-Chillfiltered Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 46%

Who wouldn't want a single malt Scotch whisky that's been aged for ten years in a first-fill sherry butt from Glenlivet - I mean honestly? Signatory clearly appreciate this beautiful liquid, as they…  More info

Glenlivet 10 Year Old 2007 (cask 900255) - Un-Chillfiltered Collection (Signatory)
1

The Glenlivet Nàdurra Oloroso Batch OL0317

70cl, 60.3%

Sherried Glenlivet single malt, released as part of the Nàdurra range. This was aged in first-fill Oloroso Sherry casks before being bottled without any chill-filtration or additional colours, and…  More info

The Glenlivet Nàdurra Oloroso Batch OL0317
3

Glenlivet 8 Year Old 2007 - The Library Collection (Edinburgh Whisky Ltd.)

70cl, 46%

An 8 year old Glenlivet, matured in a first fill Sherry butt from March 2007 to June 2015. This comes presented by new independent bottlers Edinburgh Whisky Ltd. as part of their Library Collection -…  More info

Glenlivet 8 Year Old 2007 - The Library Collection (Edinburgh Whisky Ltd.)
2

The Glenlivet Cipher

70cl, 48%

Back in 2013 The Glenlivet released a whisky called Alpha with no tasting notes, no cask details and an opaque black bottle. 'Twas quite good fun as everybody tried to guess the production technique…  More info

The Glenlivet Cipher
5

The Glenlivet 18 Year Old Inverblye - Single Cask Edition

70cl, 50.8%

An official bottling of single cask Glenlivet, distilled in 1997 and matured in bourbon barrel 30777. It was bottled on 16th April 2015 and is named after a local farm in the valley of the Livet.  More info

The Glenlivet 18 Year Old Inverblye - Single Cask Edition
1

The Glenlivet Nàdurra Oloroso Batch OL1015

70cl, 60.3%

Another Nàdurra! These releases from the Glenlivet distillery, bottled at cask strength without chill-filtration, are rather excellent indeed. This particularly batch was drawn from first-fill…  More info

The Glenlivet Nàdurra Oloroso Batch OL1015
2

Recently viewed