The Glenlivet’s 12 Year Old 200 Year
“Scotch Whisky is a
mystery, a magic of locality. The foreigner may import not only
Scottish barley but Scottish water, Scottish distilling apparatus, and set a
Scotsman to work on them, expecting wonders, but the glory evaporates: it will not travel.”
H. Charles Craig, The Scotch Whisky Industry Record, 1994
In eras past, more specifically 1630-1830, ordinary Highland Scots who distilled whisky were jailed arbitrarily, taxed unfairly and relentlessly hunted down by excise agents of the government. Many courageous Highland Scots, in the face of the unjust legislation by Parliament, sacrificed livelihoods and homes in the turmoil. A few even perished defending the right to make it. Nonetheless, Scotch whisky, both as a local libation and a national industry, flourished inside and outside the law. Because of Scotch whisky’s astounding international market success against the seemingly insurmountable odds of over-taxation, wars, Prohibition, fierce whisky industry competition, and temperance, Scotland has more than survived. It has prevailed while somehow miraculously retaining its special, innate national aura.
The 1823 Excise Act triggered an explosion in the whisky industry. After more than a century evading the King’s justice, the pioneers of Scottish distilling were bought the appropriate license to ply their trade. The required fee of £10, and the more agreeable rate of tax than ever before (of 2 shillings 3 pence per gallon), was enough to lure scores of whisky makers to the right side of the law. Once paid up, they could secure investment, expand operations and plan for the future. Among the first to obtain a licence in early 1824 was a tacksman named George Smith from Upper Drummin in the Livet valley – the Glen Livet, from Gleann-liobh-aite in Gaelic, “valley of the smooth flowing one.” His distillery was set up that year and in January 1825, George’s new distillery at Upper Drumin commenced rolling out The Glenivet whisky.
Typically, a Highlands tacksman leased scores of acres of arable tracts of land directly from the landlord and then sublet to lesser tenants the sections of the parcel that he and his own family didn’t farm or use for grazing land. George Smith had taken farmland from the Duke of Gordon, who, at the seat of power in London, would ultimately push for tax reforms and legalising distillation for a modest fee.
As a legitimate businessman, Smith became a leader in the emergent industry of Highland distilling. Even in those early days his spirit had a serious reputation among drinkers, who prized its fruity and elegant character. At this time there were many distilleries trading under the name ‘Glenlivet’ – the term having become a byword for illicit whisky from Speyside over the years. But in the 1880s the Smith family won a legal battle for their whisky to be recognised as the definite article: ‘The’ Glenlivet.
This celebratory single malt comprises 100% American Oak Matured first fill casks, hand-picked to celebrate the 200th anniversary of The Glenlivet. This 12 Year Old Special Edition is presented at 43% ABV in honour of The Glenlivet distillery's 200th Year Anniversary. A unique take on their classic 12 Year Old, this Glenlivet whisky is a celebration of Glenlivet’s journey forever forwards.
As they initiated celebration of their exciting 200-year milestone, they invited artists to join them in breaking tradition to craft a commemorative Limited-Edition design of The Glenlivet. They partnered with an online crowdsourcing platform to source these independent artists from around the world. Across 3 weeks over 400 designs were submitted from artists in 42 different countries. The winner came from Bogota, Colombia showcasing a unique illustrative style with a design that mapped the 200 years of The Glenlivet.
A truly limited edition; this is an important whisky to collect for any fan of The Glenlivet.
COLOUR: Bright, vibrant gold.
NOSE: Fresh tangerines, marmalade, pineapple slices, hazelnut praline, sweet vanilla, crème caramel and subtle floral notes.
PALATE: Ripe, juicy pear, sweet orange marmalade, coconut shavings, creamy vanilla and toasted almonds.
FINISH: Silky and sweet with enduring sweet oakiness.
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