The Glenlivet 25 Year Old is the oldest expression of a single malt whisky whose incomparable pedigree dates back nearly 200 years. When George Smith founded his distillery in 1824, he knew that Glenlivet’s hostile climate and weather-beaten terrain paradoxically produced the perfect conditions for making whisky. From the rugged and remote glen in the Scottish Highlands emerges a single malt of infinite subtlety and elegance. But it is not all nature’s work. To make The Glenlivet 25 Year Old the sublime whisky it is requires traditional skills and experience. And the signed approval of four expert whisky-makers.
As distillery manager for The Glenlivet, Hamish Proctor is responsible for the day-to-day running and management of the distillery. His task is to ensure that the whisky produced fulfils the very highest expectations. The glen’s natural resources play their part.
Josie’s Well, an underground spring at the distillery, provides a constant source of ice-cold, mineral-rich water that makes an indispensable contribution to the whisky. Glenlivet’s rarefied atmosphere, which stems from its high altitude, greatly aids the distilling process and invigorates the spirit. “There’s no better place to make whisky,” says Hamish, and The Glenlivet 25 Year Old proves it.
Bill Lamb supervises the filling and warehousing of the casks. For the last two years of its long and serene sojourn, the whisky is “finished” in sherry casks. The oloroso-soaked oak imparts a nutty spiciness to the multi-layered flavour of the spirit and enriches its colour.
The selection of oak casks is crucial to the well-being of the whisky. The porous wood inhales the moist Highland air and breathes out any impurities. The cool stillness of the warehouse, meticulously maintained by Bill and his team, allows the maturing spirit to develop slowly and naturally. Until at least a quarter of a century has gone by.
David Boyd has one of the most experienced noses in the business. He closely monitors the developing whisky, taking regular samples from the casks to check on its leisurely progress. His immaculately trained sense of smell guides him through the subtle aromas that help define The Glenlivet 25 Year Old.
When the whisky is ready, David selects the casks for bottling. It will all be at least 25 years old, but by skilfully combining the contents of different casks he is able to ensure that the character and flavour of the whisky is consistent from one bottle to the next.
Alan Winchester is one of a distinguished line of master distillers who have shepherded The Glenlivet through its illustrious history. Even before George Smith indelibly created the original single malt, Glenlivet was a haven for illicit distillers whose whisky was the most sought-after in the land.
The traditional spirits of the glen resonates just as strongly today. So does the unmatchable quality of the whisky. Alan Winchester’s signature is the final endorsement that confirms the distillery’s uncompromising standards have been met. George Smith’s priceless legacy lives on triumphantly in The Glenlivet 25 Year Old.