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Glenlivet

Vendor: Gordon & MacPhail

Glenlivet 1952-2014 | 62 Year Old Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection Ultra Single Cask 69133

$6,996.64
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Vendor: Signatory Vintage

Glenlivet 2006-2023 | 17 Year Old Signatory Vintage Single Cask 900807

$116.25
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Vendor: Gordon & MacPhail

Glenlivet 2002-2023 | 20 Year Old Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice Single Cask 800768 UK Exclusive

$193.75
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Vendor: Gordon & MacPhail

Glenlivet 1976-2021 | 45 Year Old Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection Single Cask 21602601

$2,475.74
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Vendor: Gordon & MacPhail

Glenlivet 1978-2021 | 43 Year Old Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection Single Cask 9044402

$2,238.92
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Vendor: Gordon & MacPhail

Glenlivet 1978-2021 | 43 Year Old Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection Single Cask 13553

$2,238.92
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Vendor: Gordon & MacPhail

Glenlivet 1978-2018 | 40 Year Old Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection Single Cask 9044401

$1,937.53
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Vendor: Gordon & MacPhail

Glenlivet 1974-2008 Gordon & MacPhail

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Vendor: Gordon & MacPhail

Glenlivet 1966-2014 Gordon & MacPhail

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Vendor: P

Glenlivet 1955-2001 Gordon & MacPhail

$2,691.01
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Vendor: A

Glenlivet 1950-2001 Gordon & MacPhail

$2,691.01
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Vendor: Gordon & MacPhail

Glenlivet 1948-2010 | 62 Year Old Gordon & MacPhail Cask Number 545

$4,305.62
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Vendor: Glenlivet

Glenlivet Unblended 1950s

Vendor: P

Glenlivet 1940 | 50 Year Old Gordon & MacPhail Crystal Decanter

$8,611.25
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Vendor: Gordon & MacPhail

Glenlivet 1963-1995 | Gordon & MacPhail

Vendor: P

Glenlivet Unblended 1950s

$1,345.51
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Vendor: Gordon & MacPhail

Glenlivet 1977-2012 | Gordon & MacPhail

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Vendor: Gordon & MacPhail

Glenlivet 1966-2012 | Gordon & MacPhail

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Vendor: Gordon & MacPhail

Glenlivet 1967-2012 | Gordon & MacPhail

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Vendor: Gordon & MacPhail

Glenlivet 1974-2008 | Gordon & MacPhail

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Vendor: Gordon & MacPhail

Glenlivet 1965-2006 | Gordon & MacPhail

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Vendor: Glenlivet

Glenlivet Alpha

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Vendor: Gordon & MacPhail

Glenlivet 1963 | Private Collection

Vendor: P

Glenlivet 1948 | Gordon & MacPhail 1980s

$3,498.32
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Vendor: Whisky Online

Glenlivet 12 Year Old 1970s

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Vendor: P

Glenlivet 1939 Gordon MacPhail 1970s

$3,767.43
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Vendor: P

Glenlivet 1939 Gordon & MacPhail 1970s

$3,767.43
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Vendor: P

Glenlivet 1948 Gordon & MacPhail 1980s

$3,498.32
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Vendor: P

Glenlivet 1948 Gordon & MacPhail 1980s

$3,498.32
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Vendor: Gordon & MacPhail

Glenlivet 1963-2010 | 47 Year Old Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection Casks 1723-1726

$5,382.03
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Vendor: Gordon & MacPhail

Glenlivet 1980 | Private Collection

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Vendor: Glenlivet

Glenlivet 1991 | Nadurra

Vendor: P

Glenlivet 1938 | Gordon & MacPhail 1980s

$3,767.43
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Glenlivet

There is arguably no other name more deeply associated with Scottish whisky than Glenlivet (pronounced: glen-LIV-et). Due to its geographically seductive location and famed association with royalty through the years many other distilleries have latched onto the Glenlivet bandwagon throughout the last century. It was not until the eighties that Glenlivet was able to finally stop other companies using the name on their labels and reclaim it as solely their own. These days it is one of the most recognisable whisky brands in the world and is constantly vying with Glenfiddich for global malt domination. However at the heart of all this lies one of the truly classical Speysiders, a distillate with elegance and charm that is all too easy to be snobbish about and overlook.

Founded: 1824 (although production moved to the current site at Minmore Farm in 1858)
Water Source: Josie’s Well
Stills: 7 Wash. 7 Spirit
Capacity: 10.5 Million litres
Owners: Pernod Ricard

1900s-1960s: Fame from the start.

Glenlivet was one of the first malts to be made widely available as a single malt, it was also one of the first to be exported in large quantities. Official bottlings were exported to the states as early as the 1930s. During these pre-war days, the whisky being produced was a very old style example of malt whisky. All the classical hallmarks were in place, steady and unhurried production with long fermentations, coal-fired distillations, worm tubs, floor maltings, and stunning sherry casks. Any Glenlivets you will find from these early years carry an extraordinary combination of dry, herbaceous, metallic, and subtly phenolic qualities with layers of complex fruit characters and quite a noticeable grassiness. It is a style no longer produced, that of an old-style Speysider, elegant yet often oily and gently smoky or phenolic due to the peat used in the malt kilns. Needless to say expressions from these years are now exceptionally rare and very expensive but they certainly still exist if you have the time to dig around for them.

This style of Glenlivet was continuously produced up until the early sixties when the hands of modernisation began to grasp hold of the distillery. However, the style would evolve into something less noticeably peaty in the post-war years due to the increasing use of coke and anthracite in the malt kilns. Examples from the late forties and fifties onwards still display a stunning oily, herbaceous combo but often with more overtly fruity and metallic qualities in place of the smoky aspects from the pre-war years. There are several official examples from these times that can be found, although again, rarity and expense are to be expected.

Throughout the 1960s production at Glenlivet expanded rapidly to meet growing international demand. Although the distillery remained the same and did not expand during this time the speeding up of the production process arrested some of the old-style qualities in the distillate. This is evident in many of the independent and official Glenlivets that have been bottled from stock distilled in these years. While still beautiful whisky showing distinctly lush fruit characters and a wonderful grassy, waxy spiciness, the spirit is a lot more settled and 'classically’ Speyside in style. In 1966 the floor maltings at Glenlivet were discontinued in favour of using more fiscally practical commercial malt and this further contributed to the move into more modern flavour territory.

1970s-1980s: Demand and Expansion

By the early seventies Glenlivet was already a well established and major name in malt whisky and to meet forecast demands further expansion at Glenlivet was undertaken. In 1972 the four stills were converted from coal firing to direct gas firing, this created greater consistency and contributed to a lighter style of Glenlivet. Distillations from this time reveal much of the citrusy, buttery and grassy elements with which Glenlivet has become so closely associated within recent decades. The following year in 1973 a new pair of stills was added expanding the total to six and dramatically increasing the potential production capacity.

Production capacity was again expanded at Glenlivet in 1978, with the addition of another pair of stills, the year after it was sold to Seagrams, the forerunner of Pernod Ricard. Although this was an increasingly difficult time for the whisky industry, as the bubble slowly burst around them and the whisky loch of the eighties loomed on the horizon, Glenlivet continued to do well as a promoted brand in its own right. Between 1981 and 1986 all the stills were converted to internal steam heating thus completing the transition to a truly modern plant. The spirit produced since has settled into the modern style of Glenlivet, a very floral, elegant, buttery and easy going profile. It displays lots of fresh fruit characters such as pears and green apples with a little wood spice, caramel sweetness, and a fleck of smoke here and there. Bottlings in the 1990s of the 12yo and various other expressions were often lacking something and could appear spirity, overly youthful, and thin. This was almost certainly due to some reckless cask selection and vatting inconsistency.

1990-Present: Consolidation and World Domination (almost)

Bottlings of Glenlivet have picked up in consistency and quality quite dramatically in the past decade. The 12yo is now a soft, complex, and eminently drinkable dram, a perfect representation of the softer, modern style of Glenlivet and the wider classical Speyside profile it displays.

The distillery has consolidated itself very well as a world-leading single malt brand and balances a mass-produced flagship range with a steady backlog of more premium aged releases. Many of the bottlings in their cellar collection range are fairly stunning (if a little on the expensive side). They have also vastly improved their wood policy with a good mix of European sherry and American Bourbon casks being filled. The 'Nadurra’ 16yo is one of the better examples of a modern, sweeter, bourbon heavy profile and has proven very successful.

The Glenlivet remains one of the few distilleries to manage the tightrope of being a massive global brand while retaining an air of respectability and some excellent, unpretentious bottlings to boot. Hopefully, it can retain this balance in the future and continue to offer excellent quality not only in its premium releases but also in its great 12yo.

Glenlivet