To say The Glenlivet was ahead of the game in the world of scotch whiskey doesn’t really do this spirit justice. Because it’s hard to count the number of ‘firsts’ this brand can claim, starting from its establishment back in 1824, which makes it the first ever licensed distillery from the Speyside region of Scotland.
Then you’ve got the fact that it was the first Scotch whisky brand to have ‘Glen’ in its name and the knowledge that it was the first (and only) whiskey personally recommended by writer Charles Dickens.
This smooth, well-rounded and ever so slightly sweet whiskey is the highest selling single malt Scotch whisky in the United States and the second biggest selling single malt brand globally. It doesn’t matter where in the world your cravings for The Glenlivet appear: you’re likely able to find a bottle of it in most countries across the world.
Around 21 million liters of the spirit are produced each year at The Glenlivet Distillery, which should give you some indication as to just how popular this brand is.
Multi-award winning and recommended as far back as the 1820s when King George IV asked to try it during a trip to Scotland, it’s easy to understand why The Glenlivet remains such a household name 200 years later.
Glenlivet price and bottle sizes
|The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve||750ml||$45|
|The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve||750ml||$45|
|The Glenlivet Single Malt Scotch Whisky 14 Year Old||750ml||$68|
|Glenlivet First Fill 12 Year||750ml||$61|
|The Glenlivet 12 Year||750ml||$60|
|The Glenlivet 15 Year||750ml||$85|
|Glenlivet Nadurra First Fill Selection||750ml||$95|
|The Glenlivet Enigma Single Malt Scotch Whisky||750ml||$153|
|The Glenlivet 18 Year||750ml||$148|
|The Glenlivet 21 Year Archive||750ml||$311|
|The Glenlivet XXV||750ml||$545|
|Glenlivet The Winchester Collection 50 Year||750ml||$24,995|
Where to buy Glenlivet online?
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Some call it The Glenlivet, others refer to it as “the single malt that started it all”
Either way, this long-standing brand can be traced back through centuries and is one of the few distilleries that has remained relatively open throughout that entire time period. The Glenlivet managed to survive both the Great Depression and the Prohibition period, only closing briefly during the Second World War.
Unlike many other brands that couldn’t take the financial stress of having to close during the war, The Glenlivet popped back up almost instantly. When restrictions finally lifted at the end of the war, the government was so determined to get production levels back up that it imposed bread rationing throughout the UK to ensure that The Glenlivet had enough grain to produce its whiskeys.
There are many reasons why The Glenlivet has remained so popular year after year, despite endless new arrivals to the whiskey game. One of the main ones is the unique creation process of this brand.
The Glenlivet uses its unique freshwater drawn from Josie’s Well, adding an extra special Scottish touch to its distillation process. The lantern-shaped copper stills used at The Glenlivet Distillery are unlike any other in Scotland, ensuring a bespoke element to the liquid during its pre-aging time.
Unlike other stills, the lantern shape encourages maximum contact with the copper and the long design shape means only the lightest vapors reach the top. The overall effect is a more concentrated spirit.
Then, there are the specially selected French and American oak casks used for aging the spirit. The Glenlivet is aged for a minimum of 12 years but often much longer, with higher price tags attached. One of the oldest is the Private Collection Glenlivet 1943 by Gordon & MacPhail, which carries a 70 year age statement and a price tag of around $42,000 per bottle.
How to drink The Glenlivet
There isn’t really a bad way to drink The Glenlivet, particularly if you’re branching out into all of the different bottles this brand produces. But, as with most of the finest whiskeys, the best way to introduce yourself to each bottle’s unique notes is to sip it neat from a brandy snifter glass.
However, if you find neat whiskey too strong, try adding a few droplets of filtered water or enjoy it on the rocks. The Glenlivet is also a great whiskey for mixing, thanks to its smooth taste and range of notes. Its mostly accessible price also means you won’t feel too bad mixing this whiskey into cocktails or pairing into a long drink.
Two popular choices for easy mixing include club soda or ginger ale, or you could also mix up The Glenlivet into more intricate cocktails like the ones below. Experimentation is key when it comes to enjoying The Glenlivet but err on the side of caution, so as to not overpower the spirit.
When mixing into cocktails, it’s important to let the unique qualities of the spirit take control, which means choosing one flavor profile and sticking to it. If drinking The Glenlivet in cocktail form, opt for one of the younger bottles and save the older ones for sipping neat.
The best cocktails to make with The Glenlivet
Glenlivet produces some of the most rounded scotch in the world, which means it pairs great in cocktails and is a versatile whiskey to use. Choose cocktails that bring out some of the spirit’s unique notes, like creamy toffee, bitter, zesty orange peel and gentle cinnamon spice.
The Last King
- 50 ml The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve
- 25 ml Pineapple Syrup
- 20 ml freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
- Pineapple Wedge for garnishing
Cocktail recipes: Smooth and fruity, a pineapple-based cocktail is a great way to complement The Glenlivet’s unique notes. To make, shake all ingredients together with cubed ice before straining over more ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a wedge of fresh pineapple before serving.
- 50 ml The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve
- 10 ml freshly squeezed Lime Juice
- 120 ml Coconut Water
- 2 dashes Amargo Chuncho
Cocktail recipes: Taking inspiration from both a Pisco Sour and a Pina Colada, a Carnivale is a summertime special in the world of whiskey cocktails. Make one by adding The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve, fresh lime and coconut water to a highball glass half full of ice and stir. Then, add more crushed ice to the glass and finish with a dash of the Amargo Chuncho bitters.
- 40 ml The Glenlivet 12 year old
- 12.5 ml Fig Liqueur
- 10 ml Pear Eau De Vie
- 2 dashes Peychaud Bitters
- 10 ml Lemon Juice
- 10 ml Egg Whites (or vegan equivalent)
- Ripe Fig quarter for garnishing
Cocktail recipes: Think of a traditional Whiskey Sour and then give it a Scottish edge. The result? A delicious Orchard Shelter. Make one by pouring all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shaking vigorously. The egg white should result in a frothy texture, which is when the mix is ready for ice. Shake again with ice and strain into a chilled Coupette glass. Finish by garnishing with a quarter of a ripe fig before serving.
Frequently asked questions about The Glenlivet
A bottle of The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve starts at around $46.99 for a 750ml bottle and goes up to thousands of dollars for a bottle of the prestigious Glenlivet The Winchester Collection 50 Year.
Glenlivet is one of the most popular scotch brands in the world; renowned for its round, sweet and smooth notes. Other great scotch brands include Johnnie Walker, Macallan and Crown Royal.
Glenlivet is available in India and prices start from around 445 INR for a 750ml bottle of The Glenlivet Single Malt Scotch Whisky 12 Years.
A 750ml bottle of The Glenlivet Single Malt Scotch Whisky 14 Year Old starts from around $68.99. It’s around the same price point as brands like Jameson and Buchanan’s.