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Characteristics of The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve
The delicate and complex character of the Glenlivet 12 Year Old comes from the height and width of the stills at The Glenlivet Distillery. This spirit is matured in a mixture of cask types, including American and European Oak.
Maturation in American oak adds vanilla notes and gives the whisky its distinct smoothness. The mineral rich water from Josie's Well ensures the best possible results during mashing and fermenting to form the flavours that define this spirit.
At the beginning of the 19th century, heavy taxation meant illegal distillation ran rife. A local man by the name of George Smith saw an opportunity. He was a businessman and entrepreneur who didn't follow the lead of his illegal colleagues. In 1824, he obtained a distiller's licence to produce and trade without catching the eye of government excise men. The smugglers were furious that George could conduct business freely while they found themselves conducting their business illegally. Anger turned to violence, and threats on George's distillery - and his life - became more and more common. But this did not stop George.
He passed away in 1871, but George's legacy was carried on by his son and heir to the family business, John Gordon Smith. His first task was to protect his inheritance from those who were taking advantage of the fame of the single malt from Speyside. Sailors on delivery boats were stealing from the casks during transit, and competing distillers were labelling bottles of their whiskies as Glenlivet.
In 1876, John filed a request to trademark the name Glenlivet to put an end to the activities of the impostors. After years of legal wrangling, the case was settled. John won the exclusive right to call his whisky 'THE Glenlivet', definitively marking it as the single malt that started it all.