The Brand: Slow and steady. This has been the time-honored tradition that goes into each one of The Glenlivet’s scotch whiskies. When it was founded by George Smith in 1824, it was the first legal distiller in the parish of Glenlivet in Scotland’s Speyside region. The brand continues to produce its collection of whiskies in a historic distillery in Moray, Scotland, near Ballindalloch, a Scottish village known for its whisky producers.
Captain William Smith Grant, the great-grandson of The Glenlivet founder George Smith, at The Glenlivet distillery.
Today, The Glenlivet is recognized for its excellence in single malt scotch whiskies, led by Master Distiller Alan Winchester. Made from malted barley, yeast, and water, all single malts must be distilled at a single distillery using a copper pot and then aged in casks, a labor-intensive process that reveals a more nuanced flavor and smoother finish than other blended scotches.
The Glenlivet Master Distiller Alan Winchester.
The Whisky: The Glenlivet creates a diverse range of top-notch single malts, but its latest contemporary offering is Captain’s Reserve single malt scotch whisky. It’s named after Captain William Smith Grant, the great-grandson of George Smith, who fought in World War I in France and later guided The Glenlivet through the prohibition era, sparking a revival of single malt scotch whisky in the United States and United Kingdom.
The Details: A bold new look and taste. Captain’s Reserve is a totally new experience: it’s the first major single malt to be selectively finished in a cognac cask. Imagine a place where the Scottish Speyside meets a French countryside vineyard — this is Captain's Reserve, inspired by Captain Grant's Scottish heritage and experiences in France. Infused with sweet and fruity aromas, the distinctive flavor is achieved through an aging process in high-quality Cognac casks, adding a more raisin-intensive finish to the brand’s traditional whisky-making process. The result is a unique scent of honey, apricot jam, and cinnamon bread, while the main taste notes include mandarin, ripe poached pears, and chocolate-dipped raisins.
Wrapped in deep purple packaging, the Captain’s Reserve bottle stands out on any shelf, equally beckoning to those who are new to whisky and those who are seeking a unique new expression.
Modern and unexpected, yet decidedly timeless, too — call it The Glenlivet’s next icon.