Glenlivet’s history goes back over 200 years and spans seven generations of the Smith family of distillers. The Glenlivet was the first Scottish distillery to obtain a licence immediately following the 1824 Excise Act. At that time, many of the neighbouring distillers regarded The Glenlivet’s actions as a defection from their smuggling ranks and therefore a threat to their own survival, which lead Glenlivet’s distiller, George Smith to carry pistols.
George Smith built his distillery close to Josie's Well, a natural spring which is still used as the distillery's source for production water. The Glenlivet is made using locally sourced unpeated malted barley, wooden washbacks and tall slim copper pot stills.
The Glenlivet developed such a reputation that other distillers took to advertising their products as ‘Glenlivet’. In 1884 George Smith succeeded in trade marking ‘The Glenlivet’ and other distilleries were only permitted to use the name as a hyphenated addition.
The Glenlivet is now the third best selling malt whisky brand in the world, and the biggest selling single malt in the American market.