The remote and isolated Livet valley made it ideal for illicit distillation. This is where our founder George Smith learned his craft. Hidden away from the Customs Offcers and soldiers amongst the hills and abundant springs, George had time to distill slowly making a whisky that would soon become world renowned. In August 1822, King George IV arrived in Scotland for a state visit and asked to try a drop of the infamous Glenlivet whisky. An illegal dram it was, but even that didn’t stop the King.
To this day, The Glenlivet remains the benchmark that all other Speyside single malts are measured against. It’s the definitive whisky that brings us together. And it must be said, we take great pride in setting that standard. To quote Captain Bill Smith Grant, “If we can’t make good whisky, then we shouldn’t make any whisky”.
Smooth, balanced, fruity… an invitation to indulgence in liquid form.
This whisky has been called a lot of things in its time: smooth, fruity, complex, sophisticated, entertaining, classic. The Original Malt Whisky Almanac says: “A first-class malt. One of the most popular malts in the world – deservedly so.” Representing The Glenlivet’s signature style, this classic malt is first matured in traditional oak, before spending time in American oak casks which impart notes of vanilla and gives the whisky it’s distinctive smoothness. The mineral-rich water that comes from Josie’s Well helps form the flavours during mashing and fermentation, whilst the specific height and width of the copper stills add a delicate yet complex character. Keep a bottle on hand for every occasion.
European and American oak
Fruity and summery
Well-balanced and fruity, with strong pineapple notes
Long, creamy, smooth
The 15 Year Old is deep gold in colour, and leaves behind traces of sweet almond and spice.
The 15 Year Old gets its distinctive rich and exotic character from a process of selective maturation in which a proportion of the spirit is matured in French oak casks. In fact, we at The Glenlivet were one of the first to use French oak for making whisky, a technique that has since been imitated the world over. The Limousin oak we use is cut in France’s Dordogne region, where it’s often used to mature cognacs. Its low density allows whisky to sink deep into the wood, and we carefully control how long the whisky matures in the casks so as not to overpower the desired result: a unique, pleasing spiciness.
French Limousin Oak
Creamy, rich, buttery
Sweet fruits, delicate spice
Lingering, sweet almond and spice
Balanced, rich and elegant, this is a whisky for special occasions.
Over the course of 18 years our Master Distiller, Alan Winchester, takes this expression through a combination of cask types, including both first and second-fill American oak (for tropical fruitiness) and ex-sherry oak (for spicy complexity). The result of this deft navigation of the distilling arts is a gorgeous single malt that is complex, yet elegant and balanced. The 18 Year Old has won more awards than any other expression; every bottle is a true example of the quality and taste of The Glenlivet. Any bottle deserves pride of place in your cabinet… perhaps to be held back for a fitting occasion? It is, after all, crafted to impress.
First and Second Fill American Oak and ex-Sherry casks
Rich fruit, toffee
Balanced, bursts of sweet orange
Long, with raisins and spice