If Whisky was a fine Scotsman like William Wallace, or Sean Connery.
George Smith 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 Whisky 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 Whiskies 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 Whiskies 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.
Remember that scene in Braveheart where William Wallace “spends the night” with the lovely French princess in the woods and afterwards she discovers her soul and strength? This Whisky is their love-child.
It’s all about the, um ... the wood. Commonly, Scotch Whiskies are aged in “seasoned” barrels— former Bourbon and wine casks for example. This is great, but not for this Whisky.
Glenlivet French Oak Reserve is matured in new, French, Limousin-Oak barrels—the same barrels used for Cognac and Armagnac, so do not be surprised by a similar complexity and character. “Limousin” is the root of the word “Limousine” (and yes, there is a party in the back). It takes 15 years to squeeze the flavor out of this refined Whisky—not a day less—and it’s definitely worth the long, luxurious ride.