Glenlivet is one of the remotest glens in Scotland and is also one of the most haunted. There are many local tales of ghosts, spectres, witches, warlocks, kelpies (evil spirit horses that drown travellers!) and fairies that hunt and kill babies! There is said to be a grey lady that resided in Minmore House that adjoins the Glenlivet distillery. She has not been seen since the house was recently exorcised.
tel - +44(0)1340 821 720
web - www.theglenlivet.com
Tours through Glenlivet Distillery are available all week from March until October. Tours are free.
Glenlivet is one of the most famous distilleries and whisky brands in the world and is located near to the small town of Ballindalloch in the heart of the Speyside region. The distillery takes its name from its location in the Livet Glen, which is regarded by many as the perfect place for making whisky due to the natural surroundings, quality of water and its climate. The spirit produced at Glenlivet is light, fruity and floral and typical of the traditional Speyside style. The Glenlivet single malts are currently the second highest selling in the world, behind Glenfiddich and just ahead of Macallan. It has been the number one in America since the mid 1970s, where it has always enjoyed a strong market share. This is due to foundations that were laid during the Prohibition period of the 1920s, when the owners of Glenlivet went to the USA and established contacts and outlets for the sale of their whiskies.
Glenlivet opened in 1824 and was the first distillery in the Speyside region to be granted a licence to distil under the new Parliamentary act of 1823. Prior to that, there were over 200 illegal stills operating in the area, mostly run by local farmers and smugglers. The Parliamentary act was pushed through by the Duke of Gordon, who owned land in the north of Scotland including some in Speyside. He encouraged George Smith, who was one of his land tenants, to build a legal distillery on some of his farmland. This action led to other local illegal distillers to become very unhappy and violent as much of the money that they made from selling their illicit whisky was sucked up by the new distillery. Glenlivet was expanded in 1858 to meet increased demand and a few years later was expanded again to meet up with the new Spey Rail line, that runs between Inverness and Aberdeen. This was a significant development as it enable Glenlivet whisky to be transported easily out of the local area to the borders, England and out into the expanding British Empire. The reputation of Glenlivet's whisky grew and soon many other local distilleries were attaching its name to their own whisky, as a sign of quality. The owners of Glenlivet fought this in the courts and won the right to call their whisky 'The Glenlivet'. Aside from this, it was agreed that only distilleries in the Livet Glen could attach the word 'Glenlivet' to their name. This was practiced until very recently by Glenlivet's two immediate neighbours, Tamnavulin and Tomintoul. The current owners are drinks giant Pernod Ricard, who took control in 2001.