The Glenlivet Distillerie

The Glenlivet Distillerie

Pioneering in single malt whiskey, The Glenlivet Distillery is rich in history, savoir-faire and world-renowned expertise. From the Scottish valleys of Livet to establishing itself as a household name internationally, this brand has come on leaps and bounds since it was founded by George Smith in 1822. Today, Glenlivet Distillery continues George Smith's vision of breaking traditions and setting new standards in order to move things forward. From selecting exceptional unique casks, finishes and liquids to delivering unique beverages and cocktails - Glenlivet Distillery consistently strives to open up the world of single malt to all.

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History of Glenlivet Distillery

In 1822, founder George Smith began learning his craft in the remote and isolated Livet valley, of which he soon realised was ideal for illicit distillation. Amidst the hills and abundance of springs, the valley was hidden away from the Customs Officers and soldiers (it was illegal to distill whiskey at this time). George had a lot of time on his hands and was able to begin distilling whisky at a slow pace - this whisky would soon become world renowned. A turning point for George Smith was in August 1822: King George IV arrived in Scotland for a state visit and asked to secretly try a drop of the infamous Glenlivet whisky.

Two years later and after a change in legislation, George saw his window of opportunity and rode to Elgin to get his licence to become the first legal distillery in the parish of Glenlivet. He faced difficulties and backlash from other nearby illicit distillers, but stood up to his enemies by carrying a pair of flintlock pistols with him at all times, making it clear he wasn’t afraid to use them. His courage set the foundation for our whisky today.

By the late 1830’s, Glenlivet Distillery was producing more than 200 gallons of whiskey a week. This led to a continuing expansion and the recruitment of a team of employees to help George with production and sales. Throughout the rest of the 1800’s Glenlivet Distillery continued making a name for itself and was even credited by Charles Dickens who recommended the single malt whiskey to a friend. In 1921, George’s second great-nephew, Captain Bill Smith Grant took over the distillery and faced difficulties with sales during the first world war and the period of the great depression. However, business picked back up again in 1933 when the Pullman Train Company began serving miniature bottles on their routes. This helped to spread our fine whisky across the continent, as sales then progressed to planes and autom-mobiles around the world.

In 2010, Glenlivet was taken over by current Master Distiller, Alan Winchester, who had spent 40 years honing his craft, know-how and expertise. Ensuring the spirit of founder George Smith lives on, Alan keeps tradition alive whilst breaking the boundaries of contemporary whiskey production in the goal of curating exceptional quality single malts.

Glenlivet Distillery Today

Today, Glenlivet Distillery continues with George Smith's vision of breaking traditions and setting new standards in order to move things forward. From selecting exceptional unique casks, finishes and liquids to delivering unique beverages and cocktails, Glenlivet persistently strives to open up the world of single malt to all. George Smith believed that Glenlivet should be made unhurried as time and care creates the highest quality and flavoursome whisky. Almost 200 years later, the brand still values taking it slow and steady.

News & Products

Offering a diverse range of single malt whiskeys. Glenlivet Distillery produces various different single cask whiskeys for each of the collections. The Heritage collection includes their youngest whiskeys such as The Glenlivet 12 Year Old for example. The 50 year old Winchester Collection consists of vintage jewels that go as far back as 1964. Nadurra which means “natural” in Gaelic, is Glenlivet’s range of small-batch expressions made using traditional 19th-century techniques. Finally, Glenlivet also boasts a delectable “Reserve” collection as well as a premium “rare cask’ edition. In their quest to modernise whiskey and bring it alive for just about everyone, as opposed to the traditional whiskey drinkers - Glenlivet share cocktail recipes on their website showing there is not one limited way to enjoy good whiskey. Visit Glenlivet to learn more about whiskey mixology and how to make the most out of their world class single malts.

Visit Glenlivet Distillery

The Glenlivet brand home will be open 7 days a week from 31st August 2020. The Distillery is open 10am-1pm & 2pm-4pm. The shop is open 7 days a week - access will depend on capacity. For more information on tours and tasting sessions visit:

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