Glenlivet Whisky, Speyside

Glenlivet Whisky, Speyside, Scotland

This evening, I am focusing on Glenlivet, a name which is synonymous with whisky making in Scotland and a distillery with a long and illustrious history dating back to 1824.

Glenlivet Distillery was founded by a farmer named George Smith who suffered financial difficulties in the early years. However, a combination of rescue package from the Duke of Gordon and the eradication of competing illegal distilleries saw the venture on a sound footing by 1834. From this time Glenlivet grew and prospered and by the time of the founder’s death in 1871 Glenlivet had become Scotland’s best known distillery. Along the way, Glenlivet was embroiled in various legal disputes over use of the name Glenlivet  which were ultimately settled, albeit on compromise terms.

Today, Glenlivet is owned by the French, Pernod-Ricard group  and is one of the world’s top-selling single malt whiskies with a very strong following in the United States. Increased capacity was recently installed and the distillery is now  capable of producing nearly 10m litres of spirit per annum.

Glenlivet is situated in a somewhat remote location on Speyside, some 30 mins from Grantown-on-Spey.

Tasting Glenlivet Whisky, Speyside

Tasting Glenlivet Whisky, Speyside, Scotland

Here are the washbacks where fermentation takes place aided by yeast.

Washbacks at Glenlivet Distillery

Washbacks at Glenlivet Distillery, Speyside.

Here is a view of the stills where the ‘mash’, a moderately strong beer, is turned into a spirit with about 60pct alcohol content in a two-step distillation process.

Spirit Stills at Glenlivet Distillery

Spirit Stills at Glenlivet Distillery, Scotland

After distillation the spirit is matured in oak casks for periods of three years  to twenty one years or longer.

Maturing Whisky a Glenlivet

Maturing Whisky at Glenlivet, Speyside

The major products of Glenlivet are:

  • 12 year old (40pct.)
  • 12 year old, French Limousine Cask Finish (40pct.)
  • 12 year old American Oak Cask Finish (40pct.) 
  • 18 year old (43 pct.)
  • 21 year old ( 43 pct.)

Glenlivet matures its whisky in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks depending on the finish required.

Whisky Art, Glenlivet

Whisky Art, Glenlivet, Scotland


The distillery offers good value, free tours and sometimes features in my tours of Speyside distilleries.

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