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Distillery in Focus:        The Glenlivet
Region: Speyside
Name: The Glenlivet (other names: Minmore, Drummin, Glenlivet)
Status: Active
Website: http://www.theglenlivet.com
Telephone: + 44(0)1340 821 720
E-Mail: theglenlivet.admin@chivas.com
Address: Glenlivet Distillery, Ballindalloch, Banffshire AB37 9DB. Latitude/Longitude: 57°20'37"N 3°20'15"W
Visitor centre: Yes
Owner: Chivas Brothers (Pernod Ricard)
Established in 1824

Technical details:
Water source: Josie's Well and Blairfindy wells for process water
Malted barley: Paul's Maltings
Malt bins: 400,000 tonnes.
Mill: N.A.
Mash tun: Full lauter (since 2010, 12.6 tonnes capacity)
Washbacks: 16 Oregon Pine Washbacks (60,000 L)
Yeast: N.A.
Fermentation: 50 h
Stills: 7 wash (15,000 L) and 7 spirit stills (10,000 L)
Warehouses: 11 (racked and dunnage, 85,000 casks)
Production capacity: 10.5 mio LPA
Employees: N.A.
Casks used for maturation: Mainly American bourbon casks with a small proportion of sherry casks.
Percentage for single malts: 33% (2009)
Contribute(d) to the following blends: Chivas Regal, Queen Anee, Something Special, Royal Salute.

The Glenlivet distillery


The distillery extension of 2010


The Old Original Glenlivet distillery (1899)


Regular Bottling:

The Glenlivet 12 YO, 40%
The Glenlivet 15 YO French Oak Finish, 40%
The Glenlivet 16 Nadurra, 54.5%
The Glenlivet 18 YO, 43%
The Glenlivet 21 YO Archive, 43%
The Glenlivet XXV (25 YO), 43%

Other bottlings:

In addition to their core range, a few single casks have been released as part of their cellar collection.

For the tasted whiskies, click here

The core range of The Glenlivet as repackage in May 2011: The 12, 15, 18, 21 and the 25 years old

History of The Glenlivet Distillery

The distillery of Glenlivet was founded by George Smith and Peter Fraser in 1824 at Upper Druming with a single still. George Smith was the first in Glenlivet to take out a license under the new act. The initial production was 50 gallons per week and increased to 100 gallons per week by 1826. In 1840, George leased a farm at Minmore, further down (.5 mile) the hill from Upper Drumin.

In 1850 George Smith took over the lease of Delnabo distillery near Tomintoul and installed his second son, John Gordon Smith as manager and renamed it Cairngorm.
A new distillery was built at Minmore in 1859. The old distilleries at Upper Drumin and Delnabo were closed and their copper stills moved to the new distillery at Minmore. George formed a partnership with his son John Gordon and the distillery operated under the name "George & J. G. Smith". Around 1864, 4 warehouses were attached to the distillery.

At the death of George Smith in 1871, his son, John Gordon Smith took over and registered the mark "Glenlivet". In 1884 a trademark case was settled out of court which decreed that only one distillery can legally call itself 'The Glenlivet. The right on waters of the Josie's well is acquired in 1890. The distillery was modernised in 1894 with steam power for grinding the malt and in 1896 with the introduction of electricity; a second pair of stills was added. At the time of Alfred Barnard visit, 50 men were employed at the distillery and the wash stills had a capacity of 3,700 gallons. The stills were old-fashioned and of the pot kind. In 1901, John Gordon Smith died and the lease was transferred to his nephew George Smith Grant. The estate, including the farm and the distillery were valued at £200.455. At that time, the production reached 250,00 gallons a year. In 1921, W. H. Smith Grant, the younger son of Colonel George Smith grant became the proprietor of the distillery. In 1951, the company was incorporated as George & J. G. Smith Ltd, with W.H. Smith Grant as chairman. This company bought the assets of the firm George & J. G. Smith for £100,000 and the following year, they joined J&J Grant from the Glen Grant distillery to form the public company The Glenlivet & Glen Grant distillers Ltd.

Captain Bill Smith Grants bottled The Glenlivet as a single malt and closed the floor maltings in 1966, when the annual production reached 595,000 proof gallons. As a result of the demand of The Glenlivet in the USA, the number of stills increased from 4 to 6. Worm tubes were still in use until then. In November 1977, the Glenlivet group was taken over by Seagram for £48mio (including Glenlivet, Glen Grant and Longmorn distilleries). The visitor centre was inaugurated in 1978 and the number of stills increased to 8. Chivas Brothers was acquired by Pernod Ricard in 2000 and the Cellar Collection (single cask bottling) is launched. The extension of the distillery was officially opened on 04June2010 in presence of HRH Prince Charles. The £10mio extension included a new full lauter mash tun, new Oregon Pine washbacks and 3 additional pairs of stills.

Source: Distillery visit, The Scotch whisky industry record by H. Charles Craig, The Scotch Whisky Distilleries by Misako Udo, The Glenlivet, where Romance and Business meet by The Glenlivet distillery, Chivas Brothers personnal communication.
www.whisky-news.com/Patrick Brossard © 23 May 2012.

The new Glenlivet Still house
And a section of the old one


The new wooden washbacks
And inside one of the tradtional dunnage warehouse

Tasted whiskies (58):

Official/original bottlings (OB)  
Glenlivet 12 YO for Barreto, OB, 45.7%, B:1970s Rating: 11/20
Glenlivet (The) 15 YO French Oak, OB, 40%, B: 2009 Rating: 15/20
Glenlivet (The) Kilimanjaro, 15 YO, OB, 58.2%, B: 2011, c.16242. Rating: 15/20
Glenlivet (The) Nadurra, 16 YO, OB, 59.7%, B: 2007 Rating: 11/20
Glenlivet (The) Ladderfoot, 16 YO, OB, 58.6%, B:2014, c. 120960 Rating: 16/20
Glenlivet (The) 18 YO, OB, 43%, B: 2009 Rating: 13/20
Glenlivet (The) Minmore for TWE, 18 YO, OB, 57.9%, B: 2012, c. 22378 Rating: 17/20
Glenlivet 20 YO for Barreto, OB, 45.7%, B:1970s Rating: 16/20
Glenlivet (The) 21 YO, OB, 43%, B: 2010, batch 1109D, Rating: 16/20
Glenlivet (The) XXV, OB, 43%, B: 2011 Rating: 14/20
Glenlivet 25 YO Silver Jubilee, OB, 75 Proof, B:197 Rating: 16/20
Glenlivet for the 150th Anniversary of the distillery, 34 YO, OB, 40%, B:1974. Rating: 16/20
Glenlivet (The) 1959, OB, 42.28%, B: 2001, c.2LHF801 Rating: 18/20
Glenlivet (The) Atlantic 1965, 40 YO, OB, 41.6%, B:2005 Rating: 19/20
Glenlivet (The) 1968, 39 YO, OB, 50.9%, B:2008, c. 762 Rating: 15/20
Glenlivet (The) 1972, OB, 52.3%, B: 2005 Rating: 15/20
Glenlivet (The) 1992 Cask Strength Edition, 16 YO, OB, 58.4%, B: 2008, c. GL16 009 Rating: 16/20
No Age Specified (NAS)  
Glenlivet (The) Alpha, OB, 50%, B: 2013 Rating: 18/20
Glenlivet Cipher, OB, 48%, B:2016 Rating: 14/20
Glenlivet (The) Guardian Chapter, OB, 48.7%, B: 2015. Rating: 15/20
The Glenlivet Master Distiller’s Reserve for Travel Retail, OB, 40%, B:2015 Rating: 12/20
Glenlivet (The) Master Distiller’s Reserve Solera Vatted for Travel Retail, OB, 40%, B:2015 Rating: 14/20
Glenlivet (The) Nadurra First Fill FT07114, OB, 63%, B:2015. Rating: 13/20
Glenlivet (The) Nadurra Oloroso, OB, 60.7%, B: 2015, batch OL0614. Rating: 15/20
Glenlivet (The) Nadurra Peated PW0715, OB, 61.5%, B:2015 Rating: 15/20
Glenlivet (The) Small Batch For Travel Retail, OB, 40%, B: 2015 Rating: 12/20


Independent bottlings (IB) and anonymous Glenlivet  
Berry Bros & Rudd (BBR)  
Glenlivet 1946, Berry Bros & Rudd, 43%, B:1972 Rating: 14/20
Glenlivet 1971, BBR, 46%, B:2007, c. 6450 Rating: 13/20
Glenlivet 1973, 38 YO, BBR,47.6%, B: 2012, c. 10822 Rating: 16/20
Glenlivet 1974 for TWE, BBR, 55.1%, B:2013, c.  8211 Rating: 14/20
Glenlivet 1979 for Lung Family, 34 YO, BBR, 49.1%, B:2014, c. 19560 Rating: 15/20
Glenlivet 19 YO Dumpy, Cadenhead’s, 80 Proof, B; 1960s. Rating: 17/20
Glenlivet 1972, 24 YO, Cadenhead’s, 52%, B:1996 Rating: 15/20
C&S Dram  
Glenlivet 1977, 30 YO, C+S Dram, 55.3%, B: 2007, c. 13142. Rating: 15/20
Dun Eideann  
Glenlivet 1968, Dun Eideann, 50.2%, B: 1996, cask 1576, 252 bottles Rating: 17/20
Douglas Laing  
Glenlivet (The) 1974, OMC, 26 YO, D. Laing, 50% Rating: 17/20
Duncan Taylor  
Glenlivet 1968 Peerless, 40 YO, D. Taylor, 42.3%, B: 2008, c.2834 Rating: 12/20
Glenlivet 1970, 37 YO, Duncan Taylor, 53.6%, B: 2008, c. 2020, 199 b. Rating: 16/20
Glenlivet Sherry 1995, 14 YO, Glenscoma, 46% Rating: 14/20
Gordon & MacPhail  
Glenlivet 1938, G&M, 70 Proof, B: circa 1970s Rating: 18/20
Glenlivet 1961, Gordon &Macphail, 57%, B:1980s Rating: 17/20
Glenlivet 1965, Gordon & McPhail, 40%, B: 2006 Rating: 14/20
Glenlivet 1973, Gordon & McPhail, 55.9%, B: 2002, Rating: 18/20
Glenlivet (The) G. Smith 1974, G&M, B:2004, 46% Rating: 17/20
High Spirits  
Glenlivet 1990, 18 YO, High Spirits, 46%, B: 2008 Rating: 15/20
Murray McDavid  
Glenlivet (The) Mission 1 1974, 28 YO, MMcDavid, 46% Rating: 15/20
Scotch Malt Whisky Society  
Glenlivet 1992 2.73, 16 YO, SMWS, 52%, 254 bottles Rating: 17/20
Glenlivet 1973 For Velier, 23 YO, Signatory, 43%, B:1996, c. 3301. Rating: 15/20
Glenlivet 1981 For The Whisky Exchange, 33 YO, Signatory, 52.2%, B:2015, c. 9468, 154 b. Rating: 14/20
Glenlivet 1995 Shin Yi Ji Taiwan, 20 YO, Signatory, 58.9%, B:2016, c. 166948, 548 b. Rating: 13/20
Glenlivet 1995 For Taiwan, 20 YO, Signatory, 57.3%, B:2016, c. 166956, 564 b. Rating: 17/20
Glenlivet 1996, 14 YO, Signatory, 57.3%,  B: 2010, c.105515, 615 b. Rating: 16/20
The Whisky Agency  
Glenlivet 1972 The Perfect Dram, 37 YO, TWA, 56.8%, B: 2009, 141 b. Rating: 15/20
The Whisky Fair  
Glenlivet 1978 Joint bottling with Tokyo 3- Rivers, 32 YO, TWF, 52.9%, B: 2010, 250 b. Rating: 14/20
Wilson & Morgan  
Glenlivet 1975, 35 YO, Wilson & Morgan, 55%, B: 2010, c. 10862 Rating: 17/20
Glenlivet 1975, 36 YO, Wilson & Morgan, 58.3%, B:2012. Rating: 13/20
Glenlivet 1965, 20 YO, Zenith, 56.9%. Rating: 13/20