The Legacy


During the early 19th century, illegal distilleries were commonplace throughout the Speyside region of Scotland. However, that did not prevent even the most powerful men from requesting the illicit dram, including King George IV who visited Scotland in 1822 and requested Glenlivet by name


However, in 1823, Alexander Gordon pushed the Excise Act of 1823 through Parliament that allowed illegal distillers throughout Scotland to apply for and obtain licenses to legally distill spirits. In 1824, a businessman named George Smith applied for one of the first licenses in the Speyside region of Scotland and opened the doors to The Glenlivet Distillery. Glenlivet, translated from Gaelic, means “valley of the smooth flowing one” and is most likely referencing the nearby River Livet.



Smith operated his distillery freely - angering many of the long-time illegal producers who did not have a license - resulting in multiple threats on his life. Armed with determination and a pair of pistols gifted to him by the Laird of Aberlour, Smith continued operating the distillery until he passed in 1871 and passed the distillery on to his son, John Gordon Smith.


In 1876, John requested (and eventually obtained) a trademark on the Glenlivet name. For nearly two centuries now, The Glenlivet Distillery has been producing the “single malt whisky that started it all.

The Process


Glenlivet Single Malt Scotch Whisky is made using barley sourced from Crisp Maltings, Portgordon (Portgordon is a village in Moray, Scotland). After the barley has been malted and mashed, it is fermented in wooden washbacks for approximately two days. The wooden washbacks used by Glenlivet are more difficult and expensive to maintain as compared to the stainless steel washbacks used by most Scottish distilleries, but impart a distinctive, floral quality to the whisky.


After the barley has been fermented, it is distilled twice - first through Glenlivet’s wash still, and then again through Glenlivet’s spirits still. Originally designed by George Smith, the copper-pot stills have a unique, lantern-like shape, which encourages contact between the whisky and the copper. The copper strips the whisky of any impurities it may have, and provides for a lighter and more pure flavor profile.


Following distillation, the whisky is aged in various types of casks including American oak, French, Orloroso sherry or a combination of multiple cask types, resulting in the highest quality scotch with incredibly robust, unique taste profiles.

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Below are The Glenlivet's terms of use as they appear on By registering to become a Guardian of The Glenlivet you are agreeing to these terms of use unrelated to Caskers terms of use and privacy policy.

The Glenlivet's Terms of Use:

Welcome to the web site for The Glenlivet (the "Site"). We are very pleased to welcome you to our site, but before you read on about The Glenlivet, we should be grateful if you would take a few minutes to read the important information that follows

This Site is owned by Chivas Brothers Limited, Registered Office 111/113 Renfrew Road, Paisley, Renfrewshire PA3 4DY, UK (the "Company"), Registered in Scotland no.: SC268758. To keep things simple, we have referred to the Company as "we" and "us" in the paragraphs that follow.

The purpose of this section is to describe the conditions (the "Terms") that apply to your access to and use of our Site. If you visit us at this Site, and click a flag on our home page to enter the Site, we will assume that you understand and intend these Terms to apply to you in the same way as any signed, written contract.

The following points may help you to understand the legal environment in which we operate:

Legal drinking age - to use this Site you must be of legal drinking age in your country - if you are not, please exit this Site. We look forward to informing you about The Glenlivet at an appropriate time in the future. If you are of legal age, our products should be enjoyed and consumed in moderation.

Restricted Territories - in some countries of the world it is not permissible for citizens to visit a Site like ours due to local laws restricting the sale and/or promotion of alcoholic beverages. You are responsible for compliance with the laws of this country or territory in which you are located and if you are visiting from a country where restrictions apply you should exit this Site now. If you are unsure about the law then we suggest that you exit now and check your legal position before continuing.

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Rights - All of the material you see on this site is owned by us or used by us with the consent of the owner. We are very happy for you to visit this Site and to print copies of material on it for your personal, non-commercial use, but all other copying is prohibited and all other rights are reserved.

Trade marks - the words Glenlivet and The Glenlivet are trade marks belonging to Chivas Brothers Limited and are registered in many different countries. This is also true of many of the other logos and creative materials that you will see on our product pack and on this Site. We (and the other owners of materials used on this Site) attach considerable importance to these precious assets and make every effort to protect them. Any use or reproduction of these trade marks without the express prior written consent of the Company is prohibited.

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(i) It will always be available for you to visit/use in the current format;
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Other legal notices - there are other legal notices on areas of this Site which relate to your use of specific areas.

Changes to this legal notice - we may amend this legal notice from time to time.

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