Ever since its establishment, The Glenlivet Distillery maintained almost continuously operating and has successfully developed into one of the most prosperous whisky distilleries in the world. The Glenlivet Founders Reserve and The Glenlivet Nadurra Oloroso are only a few examples of the many sought-after editions of The Glenlivet’s core range, and with limited edition releases such as The Glenlivet Cellar Collection 1890, The Glenlivet is much loved by both passionate collectors and whisky enthusiasts.
It all started shortly after the Excise Act of 1823, a decision taken by the Duke of Gordon which allowed distillers to operate on a legal basis, dependent on holding a license. Numerous distillers requested for their distillery to become legalized, among which George Smith, who owned a farm distillery in Upper Drumin. As the distillery was located in the Livet Valley nearby the Glen River, Smith called his distillery “Glenlivet”. The story has been told that some envious competing distillers in the Livet area threatened to burn down The Glenlivet, which had Smith forced to self-protect by openly carrying a pair of pistols every single day until his passing. Despite these setbacks, Smith continued to successfully operate The Glenlivet Distillery and passed on the legacy of craftsmanship to his son John Gordon Smith.
J. G. Smith also established a whisky distillery nearby the village Tomintoul, which unfortunately didn’t became much successful. George Smith purchased the so called “Delnabo Distillery”, in the hopes of increase its production to full capacity. Smith renamed the distillery “Cairngorn” and kept both Cairngorn and The Glenlivet entirely operated for a long period of time, but throughout the following years the effort of maintaining two distilleries however couldn’t meet the increasing demand for Scotch whisky. Through cooperation with J. G. Smith, George Smith had The Glenlivet Distillery rebuild in 1858 nearby the Minmore Farm. Both the Cairngorn- and the Upper Drumin location of the former Glenlivet Distillery were shut down, and their modifications and refurbishments were transitioned to the brand new Glenlivet premises, The Glenlivet Distillery as we know today.
George Smith passed away in 1871, and J. G. Smith successfully continued to operate carry on George Smith’s legacy, The Glenlivet Distillery. Off course, The Glenlivet’s prosperity didn’t remain unattended by its competitors. Countless other illegitimate whiskies bearing the name “Glenlivet” were released by other distilleries, in attempt to counterfeit The Glenlivet’s peerless and legendary success. J. G. Smith then pursued claiming ownership of “The Glenlivet” as a singular brand name, in which he prevailed -to a certain extend. J. G. Smith became officially permitted to use The Glenlivet brand name exclusively, but yet other distilleries remained allowed to hyphenate their distillery name with
“-Glenlivet”, which benefited distilleries such as “The Macallan-Glenlivet”.
The Glenlivet Distillery remained part of the Smith family legacy for a long period of time, as the inheritance was passed over to J. G. Smith’s nephew George Smith Grant and his son Bill Smith Grant. Over the years, The Glenlivet has merged with several distilleries such as the Glengrant Distillery and the Longmorn Distillery. Three years after Bill Smith Grant’s passing in 1975, The Glenlivet was purchased by the international Seagram Distillers PLC, until finally the Seagram’s interests were acquired by Pernod Ricard in 2000.
Remarkably enough, The Glenlivet Distillery stayed fully operated during the global economic depression around 1930 which lasted approximately a decade. The Glenlivet Distillery has only been shut down for a short period of time during the Second World War, which is an outstanding and unparalleled achievement! The Glenlivet is currently working on the development to quadruplicate its production capacity up to forty million liters of pure alcohol per year, by which The Glenlivet will expand to become the most producing distillery in the entire world.Read more