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Whisky of the Week • The Glenlivet

The Glenlivet is situated in ravishing Speyside

Speyside is a magical place in north-east Scotland.

Bordeaux comparison could be Pauillac. Not in geography nor climate but in the sheer number of great distilleries as the Médoc commune reciprocates with chateaux.

The Macallan, Cardhu, Glen Grant, Strathisla, Glenfarclas, Cragganmore – just to name a few – and, of course, The Glenlivet which I visited about 30 years ago.

(I wrote – two weeks ago – that my first trip to Scotland was about 25 years ago. I was mistaken. It was around 35 years as the mobile phone was not yet commercially available when I first visited).

In 1824, The Glenlivet became the first legal distillery in the Parish of Glenlivet

Every drop of The Glenlivet is drawn from Josie’s Well


The copper stills of The Glenlivet. Due to Covid, the distillery is, for now, closed to the public 

The Glenlivet was the earliest legal distiller in the Parish of Glenlivet. This occurred in 1824 when George Smith rode to Elgin to get a licence for his distillery which, until then, had been making whisky on the side.

Scotland has always had a contentious relationship with England and Smith becoming legit did not endear him to fellow Scots who continued to distil against the law.

George Smith was up to their threat to burn down The Glenlivet (and him). He always carried a pair of flintlock pistols on his body. Admittedly, that would only give him two quick shots. In the event – fortunately – he did not have to discharge his guns in anyone’s direction.

When we drink in the pleasures of Scottish Whisky, what is in the bottle is the earth, wind, fire, and water of that ravishing country.

In the case of The Glenlivet, every drop comes from a source of pure, pristine, mineral rich water called Josie’s Well. Quench your thirst here at https://vimeo.com/80864773.

The Glenlivet 12 Years Old

Light mid gold. Soft vanilla, pineapples, and ripe Spanish melons. The fruity palate reinforces with a delicate sweetness. A balanced, elegant, medium-bodied Single Malt that is delicious as an aperitif. Aged in European and American oak. 40% alcohol. The Number One selling Single Malt in the USA, The Glenlivet is owned by French drinks giant Pernod Ricard (proprietor also of Cognac Martell and Champagne Perrier-Jouet and Mumm).

The Glenlivet 18 Years Old Batch Reserve

Bright mid-gold. Richer, more intense, and drier than 12 Years Old. Toffee/spicy notes, raisins and aged dried citrus. Makes for a most agreeable digestif. The silhouette on the label is that of founder George Smith. Matured in first- and second-fill American oak and ex-Sherry barrels. 40% alcohol.

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