For The Glenlivet, the journey towards becoming a gargantuan house of the world’s most desired single malt Scotch whiskies began nearly 200 years ago. What transpired was years of ambition to excel, devotion to the art and the meticulous attention to detail that has made it both, critically acclaimed and commercially successful.
There are hardly any corners of the world where The Glenlivet is a name unrecognized. The Glenlivet single malt Scotch whisky has epitomised the Speyside flavour profile through their smooth, light and floral characteristics. The fresh water drawn from Josie’s Well, and the uniquely shaped stills at the distillery contribute immensely to the single malt’s attractive flavours and aroma.
Although The Glenlivet is one of the world’s most popular Scotch whisky brands, the Speyside giants and their rich history still remain elusive for many whisky drinkers worldwide. Check out some of the most interesting facts and details about ‘the single malt that started it all’, the whisky that even a King couldn’t resist.
The Glenlivet Distillery was established in 1824, making it the first ever licensed distillery from the Speyside region of Scotland.
Today, The Glenlivet is the world’s second largest selling single malt Scotch whisky. Global sales of the brand were calculated at nearly six million bottles annually.
It is also the highest selling single malt Scotch whisky in the United States of America, the land of Bourbon whiskey.
Lantern-shaped stills at The Glenlivet Distillery are unlike any other in Scotland, and are of the key reasons behind the tempting goodness of this historic Speyside single malt.
George Smith, an illicit distiller was the founding father of the iconic The Glenlivet brand. He was one of the many illicit distillers in the Speyside region, yet somehow his whisky had gained fame far and wide.
The Glenlivet whisky was so famous that even King George IV asked to try it during a visit to Scotland in August, 1822.
It was the first Scotch whisky brand to have ‘Glen’ in their name, which was followed by nearly every Speyside brand in the region. The Glenlivet brand is affectionately referred to as ‘the single malt that started it all.’
Founder George Smith was forced to carry two flintlock pistols with him all the time due to increasing threats from other competing distillers from the area. They did not like Smith’s decision to obtain a license for The Glenlivet Distillery.
Writer Charles Dickens was known to have grown particularly fond of The Glenlivet single malt. He had even penned a letter to a friend, recommending the whisky that he had come to love and cherish.
Before it became ‘THE’ Glenlivet, the brand was plagued with nefarious competitors attempting to cash in on the brand’s popularity by using similar names for their whisky. It was George Smith’s son, John Gordon Smith, who fought and won the right to add the prefix ‘THE’ to the Glenlivet brand name in 1884.
The Glenlivet was one of the few single malt Scotch brands that survived the Great Depression and Prohibition. It has been one of history’s most enduring whisky distillery and brand.
Master Distiller at The Glenlivet, Alan Winchester, has been working for the company since 1979. That’s a whopping 40 years of experience at one of the world’s topmost Scotch whisky distilleries.
A limited-edition series of The Glenlivet’s single malt Scotch whisky was put on sale by Gordon & MacPhail for a mindboggling figure of $42,000. Only 42 bottles of this rare spirit exist, and carry an age-statement of 70 years!
A mystery series of single malt bottlings was launched by The Glenlivet in 2013. Named The Glenlivet Alpha, the first release was followed by three more; The Glenlivet Cipher, The Glenlivet Code and The Glenlivet Enigma.
The Glenlivet single malts are serial winners at international whisky tasting competitions and have been some of the most awarded Scotch whiskies ever.
Over the years, The Glenlivet has always maintained a strong connect with their roots and traditions, never straying from the path of excellence that George Smith once treaded. It’s rich history and continued success can be attributed to the fearless attitude that imbibed by the man himself.
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