Glenlivet’s are One of the most famous malts in the world, perhaps on account of the story of George Smith,an illegal distiller in Speyside who went legit when he obtained the first license to legally distill whisky in 1824.
For many years afterwards he had to carry a pair of pistols to protect himself and his family from his aggrieved erstwhile colleagues, the moonshiners, but the quality of his spirit quickly made him and his distillery famous and set a precedent that sparked the birth of the industry as we know it today.
Famously the first legal Scottish distillery in Speyside after owner George Smith took the brave step of applying for the first license to distil following the Excise Act of 1823, Glenlivet became so synonymous with the best quality that the company was forced to take legal action in the 1880s to prevent its rivals passing off their own wares as 'the Real Stuff'. Despite the Smith family winning the exclusive right for their product to be known as 'The' Glenlivet, dozens of other distilleries persisted with the usage of the Glenlivet suffix (eg Macallan-Glenlivet) for decades afterwards.
Although the distillery's standard 12yo epitomises the kind of soft, smooth, lighter style of Speyside malts beloved of so many whisky fans, Glenlivet's spirit has also proven itself to be more than capable of withstanding long years of wood-ageing. The ongoing Cellar Collection was created to showcase some of the superb older malts in the distillery's archives, and some extremely old sherried vintages going back to the 1930s have been bottled by Gordon & Macphail. Today, The Glenlivet is the world’s second best-selling single malt and is the top seller in the US.
The Glenlivet 21 Year Old is produced in small, bespoke batches. Each cask is nosed and approved, making every batch unique. A sizable inventory of whisky of this age is extremely rare and only the best are selected for this expression. The complex combination of cask types imparts richness, intensity and a long finish to the whisky.