The Glenlivet Distillery

The Glenlivet Distillery

Glenlivet Distillery, Ballindalloch, Banffshire AB37 9DB.
United Kingdom

The Glenlivet began as an illegal whisky made with care by George Smith hidden in the isolated Livet Valley. Since then, this Speyside producer has grown to become one of the biggest selling single malt brands in the world. At the centre of the company’s range of whiskies are The Glenlivet 12-Year-Old and The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve.


While every bottle of The Glenlivet might be emblazoned with the year 1824, the illegal roots of the brand stretch back a bit further. George Smith began his illicit whisky brewing enterprise in the remote Livet Valley, far from the prying eyes of the law (and the customs officers and soldiers who enforced the law). But that care did not stop his fame from spreading. The Glenlivet product was so good and made with such care that in 1822, King George IV asked to try The Glenlivet whisky during his visit to Scotland. How the King heard about this illegal substance is a mystery for another day.

A change in legislation in 1824 allowed George Smith to obtain a license for his already famous spirit. In 1884, in order to stop other distillers from capitalizing on The Glenlivet’s fame, the brand earned the right to call itself “The Glenlivet”, remaining the only producer allowed to use the name to date.

Now, nearly two centuries after being licenced, The Glenlivet continues to be one of the leaders in the world of Speyside single malt Scotch whiskies around the world.

Product Range

The Glenlivet whisky portfolio is made up of four main branches: Taste, Heritage, Explore, and Travel.

In the Taste range are found the two reserve products: The Founder’s Reserve, made in honour of George Smith, and the Captain’s Reserve, inspired by his grandson.

The Heritage range contains the classic aged offerings. The Glenlivet comes in 12-, 15-, 18-, 21-, and 25-year-old expressions while the Winchester Collection is a three-part series of 50-year-old limited-edition releases.

The Explore range is made up of the Nàdurra family of whiskies. As Nàdurra means “natural” in Gaelic, these small-batch whiskies are more inventive and innovative flavour-wise.

In the Travel range are those whiskies who have travelled through different types of casks. The Distiller’s Reserve, White Oak Reserve, and Rare Cask releases have all been through three different casks before entering the bottle.

Other Relevant Information

The Glenlivet Distillery is located 270 metres above sea level, in one of the coldest places in the UK. Drawn from Josie’s Well, the water for the distillery is hard mineral water which gives more flavour and aroma to the final product.

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