In a previous article on blended Scotch whisky, the differences between blended scotch and single malt scotch were touched upon. Preceding reviews of the 12 year and the 18 year single malts provided by The Glenlivet and a summary of a conversation with Ricky Crawford, The Glenlivet U.S. Brand Ambassador, it is appropriate to give a short history of the distillery.
The Glenlivet Distillery is located in the Speyside region of Scotland. During the early 1800’s, the manufacture of whisky was already taking place in illicit stills in the area. This harsh environment made detection almost impossible and highly improbable. However, these whiskies would make their way into the hands of noblemen and eventually into the hand of King George IV in 1822. A year later, whisky manufacture was made legal.
It didn’t take long before a native of the area, George Smith, who had already been making whisky there, established The Glenlivet Distillery. The year was 1824. This move made him many enemies among his whisky-making neighbors, who threatened to burn his distillery down, as well as to deprive him of his life. While many whiskies were made in the area, only one survived and retained the name The Glenlivet.
The quality of the barley that was used to make the whisky, along with the single water source coming from Josie’s Well nearby hasn’t changed since 1824. So it is no surprise that The Glenlivet quickly became the No. 1 selling Single-Malt whisky in America following Prohibition.