was running an illegal still on the estate of the Duke of Gordon
in the wee early 1800’s. The good old Duke ... ahem ... may or may not have been aware of the illicit operation in exchange for a personal supply. When the Duke helped sponsor legislation in 1823
that made whiskey distilling legal in the UK, it just so happens that George Smith was the first one granted a license. Now legal and above board, he naturally named his “new” business after the local parish—Glenlivet. Today Glenlivet
is one of the “Big Three”
single malt producers, being #1
in the United States and #2
worldwide. Their whiskeys are officially “Speyside,”
meaning that they are Highland malts produced along the river Spey
, and the water for the whisky mash comes somewhat famously from “Josie’s Well.” Glenlivet produces whiskeys in a variety of ages and wood-matured combinations, and the remaining spirit not bottle as part of their Glenlivet lineup is considered an indispensable component in some of the most famous blends.
Whisky-lovers are fond of tossing superlatives about. They speak of amber drams in glowing terms of adoration. Glenlivet XXV
sends one scrambling to the thesaurus, desperate to find new words or phrases to raise the bar. This one is special.
The first thing that you notice is the color. It’s deep
, rich hue
comes not from peat or char, but from simple aging without chill-filtering. And while all Glenlivet Whiskies age in ex-Bourbon casks, this 25-year buried treasure
spends its last two years in first-fill sherry casks, lending a gentle sweetness
and hint of cinnamon
. But lovely as it is to the eye, it is the aroma that will get you. No, not aroma … the perfume alone might seduce you. But taste it you will, and then you will understand.
“Saints preserve us! Should the devil offer a dram of Glenlivet XXV in exchange for my soul in purgatory, the temptation might be too long considered.” — Uncle Flaviar