Glenlivet Distillery Notes

Glenlivet Distillery
Ballindalloch, Banffshire AB37 9DB
Tel.: +44(0)1340 821 720
Region: Speyside

For a complete index of’s distillery listings, including tasting notes, follow this link.


The Glenlivet 18: This is simply a fantastic value for a more mature whisky. See tasting notes below.


Glenlivet is one of the oldest and most popular whiskies in the world, with a third of total single malt sales globally. It is the No. 1 best seller in the U.S.

Its popularity is attributable in part to its quality, but also to low prices compared to some of its main rivals. Notably, The Glenlivet 18 ($60, K&L) is less than half the price of The Macallan 18 ($140, K&L), and stands up well by comparison.

It is a Speyside, cured in oak bourbon and sherry casks, and is often described as carrying sweet tones such as vanilla. It has a long, mild finish with only a little of the smoky peat flavor more closely identified with the Islay style.


Illicit distilling and smuggling was carried on in Scotland for centuries but Glenlivet lays claim to being the oldest licensed distillery in Scotland.

It was the first distillery to cave in to the Excise Act of 1823, authorizing any distillers who bought a license to produce whisky legally, under legislation pushed through by the Duke of Gordon. As such, its official life started in 1824, giving it bragging rights as the birthplace of the modern Scotch whisky industry.

Glenlivet’s decision to pay the £10 excise fee was unpopular at first, but won it the protection of the government (founder George Smith was given a pair pistols to fend off other operators hoping to dodge the tax), and others fell like dominoes.

Smith built the original distillery at Upper Drumin and augmented with a second in 1849 known as Cairngorm-Delnabo Distillery at Delnabo, but both were shut down and a new larger larger distillery was constructed at Minmore where production began in 1859.

Glenlivet thrived and developed a reputation for quality, leading rivals to capitalize on the fame of the Glenlivet name. In 1880, Genlivet won a limited victory in a trademark lawsuit, giving it exclusive right to the name “The Glenlivet,” though other distillers could still identify their products as Glenlivet varieties. Cardhu is the only Speyside malt whisky not to have used the appellation “Glenlivet” at any time. All the other distilleries in Speyside have done so.

The distillery played a major role in the creation of the first commercial blended Scotch whisky, Old Vatted Glenlivet, created by Andrew Usher in 1853.

The Glenlivet was the first Scotch whisky exported to the U.S. following the end of prohibition in 1934.

Glenlivet Distillery (George & J. G. Smith) merged with the Glen Grant Distillery (J. & J. Grant Glen Grant) in 1953 to form the The Glenlivet and Glen Grant Distillers. It went on to merge with Hill Thomson & Co. and Longmorn-Glenlivet Distilleries in 1970 before changing its name to Glenlivet Distillers in 1972. It was purchased by Canadian liquor giant Seagram in 1977, and later Pernod Ricard and Diageo in 2000. Glenlivet Distillers passed to Pernod Ricard, and it is now a subsidiary of Chivas. Glen Grant Distillery was sold to Campari Group in 2005


The Glenlivet 12 Year Old
The Glenlivet 15 Year Old French Oak Reserve

The Glenlivet 18 Year Old

Whisky1 Tasting Notes: I really like this whisky. It has an easy way about it, full of character and flavor but not overpowering. It’s a great sipping whisky when you don’t want to show off, but just enjoy. The nose is subdued but elegant with scents of orange, and the finish is mellow and long. It has a sweetness to it and vanilla tones, and only a hint of peat. Go easy on the water, a splash is all you need to open the nose, and it will wash out the delicate flavors if you’re not careful. Also, you can’t beat the price. This is a real value play at about $60 a bottle.

Travel Retail

These bottlings are only available through the travel retail market, such as airports and ferries.

The Glenlivet 12 Year Old First Fill
The Glenlivet 15 Year Old
The Glenlivet Nadurra 16 Year Old

Ultra Premium

The Glenlivet Archive 21 Year Old
The Glenlivet Cellar Collection 1972 Cask Strength
The Glenlivet Cellar Collection 1959 Cask Strength
The Glenlivet Cellar Collection 1964 Cask Strength
The Glenlivet Cellar Collection 1967
The Glenlivet Cellar Collection French Oak Finish 1983
The Glenlivet Cellar Collection American Oak Finish 30 Year Old
The Glenlivet XXV 25 Year Old

~ by whisky1 on August 23, 2008.

5 Responses to “Glenlivet Distillery Notes”

  1. […] Scotch distillers often tout the handcrafting that goes into their whiskies. Now Glenlivet reports it is replacing people with an automated system in one of its most critical tasks: weather […]

  2. […] cosmetics and fragrances distributor Fine Brands will introduce a limited-edition The Glenlivet single malt whisky from Adelphi Distillery exclusively in travel-retail at the TFWA World […]

  3. […] Glendronach distillery to BenRaich in order to concentrate on its other whisky brands, including The Glenlivet, the BBC […]

  4. […] The sell off came despite brisk Scotch whisky sales, The Herald reports. Key takeaways include: * The Glenlivet, whose Speyside distillery is earmarked for expansion, had a record year, selling 600,000 […]

  5. I really want to buy/order a bottle of glenlivet xxv but only 1 bottle to toast my 3rd childs birth in march. i live in Canada (London On.) and i’m wondering if it’s posible to order just one bottle not the case of 3 and if i can get it in canada by march. if so how? the L.C.B.O has discontinued carrying it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: