With knowledge comes pleasure
Context is crucial for turning good into excellent, and excellent into sublime. Which brings us to the case of The Glenlivet. A whisky with its origins stretching back to 1822. A result of founder George Smith’s expertise as much as that of the natural wonders of the Livet Valley – as the video above explains.
Interestingly enough it begins with King George IV arriving for a stately visit. This probably meant grand banquets featuring the land’s best produce. Having heard of the Glenlivet’s famous but outlawed whisky, the king nonetheless asked for a sample. George Smith took note.
Within two years the ban was repealed and the opportunity Smith had been waiting for presented itself. Legend has it he rode hard and fast to reach Elgin, the administrative centre of the region. His petition was heard, approved and Smith returned with the first official license in the region.
Now known as the Indenture, it offered a business advantage that spread the brand’s reputation far and wide. Even Charles Dickens wrote to a friend urging him to try the, “rare old Glenlivet”.
By now the reigns has been passed to the founder’s youngest son, John Gordon Smith who in 1884 decided to cement his father’s legacy. Fighting off competition and proving the superiority of his whisky, his labels now came with a capital ‘T’ as in The Glenlivet.
His was the representation of the Livet Glen, its culture, and the flavor profile that exemplified Smith’s location at the heart of the Spey. The next time you savour The Glenlivet and sensations of citrus and honey come to mind, see if you can also taste the cold springs of the Scottish Highlands, the copper stills collecting golden whisky by the drop, and the genius of old George Smith that’s made The Glenlivet one of the world’s most requested whiskies.
To acquire an exquisite dram, visit here.