The Glenlivet Distillery was the first distillery in Scotland to obtain a license in 1824 after the Excise Act of 1823 relaxed many restrictions on illicit distillation across the country. George Smith, the man who revolutionized the Scottish whisky industry with his new techniques of distillation is the founding father of The Glenlivet.
Not even the King could resist Smith’s illicit whisky when he attended Scotland in 1822. In fact, Smith’s ‘Glenlivet’ whisky, as it was called back in the day, was so famous that a dozen other distilleries from the region began using the name to sell their spirit. Fortunately, after a hard fought legal battle, Glenlivet became ‘The’ Glenlivet and changed the course of single malt Scotch whisky forever.
Today, the distillery is considered one of Scotland’s finest institutions, where the world’s bestselling single malt Scotch whiskies are distilled, matured and bottled. The core range from The Glenlivet, under the watchful eye and skilled senses of Master Distiller Alan Winchester have enthralled whisky lovers for decades.
The Glenlivet has successfully treaded the fine line between maintaining the legacy that George Smith left behind, or revolutionizing the industry as Smith once did with innovation and the thirst for knowledge. The entire core range at The Glenlivet is a fine example of brilliance, with one expression better than the other and all of them congregating to create something magical. The range begins from the recently introduced no-age-statement single malt, The Glenlivet Founders’ Reserve, and concludes with the super-premium, luxury single malt, The Glenlivet XXV, a 25 year old Scotch whisky.
The entry level bottling from The Glenlivet’s core range, Founders’ Reserve was released in 2014. The expression was created by Master Distiller Alan Winchester in honour of founder George Smith, recreating the methods used by him when he first developed his single malt whisky. The Glenlivet Founders’ Reserve replaced the 12 Year Old as the entry level expression, and was met with much praise upon its release.
This is a no-age-statement single malt, representing the freedom George Smith undertook by combining single malts of different age-statements for his whisky back in the day. The Master Distiller has matured this single malt in traditional Oak barrels, and first-fill American Oak barrels for the texture and smoothness they administer to the spirit. There is lots of citrus, sweet orange and freshly cut grass on the nose. On the palate, it brings flavours of ripe pears and orange zest mingled with toffee orchard fruits, and the finish is unmistakably smooth, long and creamy. Excellent stuff from The Glenlivet Distillery once again.
An excellent 12 Year Old single malt Scotch, and truly one of the most popular and widely sold expressions throughout the world. The Glenlivet 12 Year Old was reintroduced to the markets in 2018, after being taken out of production in 2018 and being replaced with The Glenlivet Founders’ Reserve. As part of the bold new transformation for the core range of The Glenlivet single malts, the 12 Year Old was also redesigned. Shedding the iconic green bottle, and replacing it with a clear bottle and newly designed labels for a stylish new look.
The Glenlivet 12 Year Old is the first brush with a Speyside single malt for many whisky lovers, and it has a delicate balance of flavours and aromas that make it irresistible. This expression is a classic, and since its reintroduction, it has developed an aura that is even more appealing. Very fruity and refreshing nose, the influence of the American and European Oak is noticeable. Flavours of fresh fruity, especially pineapple and hints of vanilla, coupled with the mouth-watering creamy smoothness of The Glenlivet make it a complete symphony orchestra of the greatest hits!
If you considered the single malt segment to be overcrowded with 12 Year Old expressions, the 15 Year Old is by no means any less competitive an arena. It is here that The Glenlivet 15 Year Old stands out like a champion. Had it not been for Master Distiller Alan Winchester’s ingenuity and expertise, the world would have missed out on a remarkable single malt Scotch.
The Glenlivet 15 Year Old has been named the French Oak Reserve due to a selective maturation process it undergoes in French Limousin Oak barrels. These barrels are prepared from wood found in a specific region of France, the Dordogne region. They are traditionally used to mature Cognacs, and have a very low density which allows the spirit to draw out a considerable influence from the Oak. A lusciously rich and buttery nose greets the drinker, followed by an impressive balance of fruity and nutty flavours with the gentlest whisper of spice. Marvellous lingering finish with sweet almonds and spice complete an exhilarating experience.
The Glenlivet Nadurra is an exciting new series of small-batch single malt Scotch whiskies released by the distillery to celebrate and recreate traditional 19th century distillation methods and techniques. The word ‘Nadurra’ means Natural in Gaelic, and the whiskies are as close to their raw nature as possible. The Nadurra Oloroso expression is matured in first-fill Oloroso Sherry barrels for an unspecified amount of time.
It contains no added colours, is non-chill filtered, and bottled at cask-strength which is higher than most regular single malt Scotch whiskies. For the uninitiated, The Glenlivet Nadurra series could represent a fantastic new avenue to explore, but for veterans, this is the whisky that reminds them of the good old days. There’s lots of Sherry, both sweetness and richness, and the quintessential Glenlivet fruitiness is accompanied by some interesting spices and nutty vanilla. Very delicious, and the cask-strength just simply gives it such strong character.
Another expression from The Glenlivet’s fantastic Nadurra range of single malt Scotch whiskies, the Nadurra First-Fill has been matured in First-Fill American Oak barrels as the name suggests. Unlike the Nadurra Oloroso, this Scotch has a personality like it has appeared from another dimension altogether.
The Glenlivet Nadurra First-Fill is a non-chill filtered single malt Scotch bottled at cask strength, and with no added colouring to change its appearance. The American White Oak, never before used to age any spirit helps condition and develop this whisky into an otherworldly dram. What you get is a combination of the best that The Glenlivet’s single malt has to offer, mingled perfectly with the influence of White American Oak. All the flavours you think when you think The Glenlivet such as ripe pears, bananas, and tropical pineapples embraced by vanilla cream, fruitcake and freshly cut herbs. What an achievement from the guys at The Glenlivet Distillery!
Phenomenal is one of the few words that come to mind when speaking of The Glenlivet 18 Year Old. This is not just another excellent single malt from the classic Speyside distillery, but is in fact their most awarded and critically acclaimed release. The Glenlivet is one of the largest selling single malt Scotch whiskies of the world, and for the 18 Year Old to stand out in such illustrious company is quite a statement.
So what makes The Glenlivet 18 Year Old the single malt Scotch that deserves such high praise? For starters, a combination of barrels were used to mature and finish this incredible drink such as First and Second-Fill American Oak and Sherry butts. Master Distiller Alan Winchester put together a rich, complex single malt with all the smoothness that 18 years of maturation can deliver. Rich fruit and toffee on the nose, explosive flavours of ripe orchard fruits and soft winter spice round off with a long, spicy finish together create a harmony of aromas and flavours that simply belong together. Classic dram this one! Do not share it with anyone.
This is a super-premium single malt Scotch that the people at The Glenlivet Distillery put every bit of their experience, skill and resources into. The Glenlivet Archive 21 Year Old is a serial Gold Winner, nabbing three consecutive Golds in 2005, 2006 and 2007 among many other awards. When you think of ‘the good stuff’ that you only bring out once a year for special company, The Glenlivet Archive 21 Year Old is the bottle you must think about.
Matured in a series of handpicked fine Oak barrels, both American and ex-Sherry. For over 21 years, this single malt undergoes an arduous aging process, slowly drawing the influence from these rare and unique barrels. The result is a deep amber coloured spirit, resembling dark rose gold that gives off hints of intense and rich dried fruit and Sherry goodness. Christmas spice, candied ginger coated in sweet honey and fruit syrup make way for the most tantalizingly warm finish. When you take a sip of this beauty, your eyes will slowly shut almost impulsively to savour its irresistible goodness.
One look at a bottle of The Glenlivet XXV is enough to make any whisky lover go weak in the knees. You could even expect some to begin salivating at the mere sight of its rich, deep hues of smouldering amber. The Glenlivet XXV’s beautiful colour has been drawn entirely from maturation in a combination of ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry barrels. This is a non-chill-filtered single malt, and it is slightly more exquisite than our wildest dreams.
Most distilleries finish their whiskies in Sherry, or other types of barrels for months, but The Glenlivet allows the spirit for the XXV to spend nearly two years in ex-Sherry barrels. The result is a multiple Gold medal winning single malt, with a deep and resounding Sherry influence conflated brilliantly
with The Glenlivet’s mouth-watering flavours. Cinnamon spice infused decadent dark chocolate, chewy raisins and dried figs, creamy toffee and glazed apple tart. What an excellent application of all the best qualities and skills that the people at The Glenlivet Distillery have mastered. We truly believe they were just showing off with this one, and we don’t blame them because if we could, we would too.