Well-known as the oldest licensed distillery in Scotland, for many years ‘Glenlivet’ was a byword for quality, with many single malts using the Glenlivet suffix in an attempt to reap the benefits of associating themselves with the Banffshire distillery. Indeed, owners Pernod-Ricard now put a heavy focus on the brand being ‘The Glenlivet’, encouraging their consumers not to accept any imitations. Glenlivet is in a long-running battle with Glenfiddich for the title of best-selling single malt, with both now selling over a million cases a year. George Smith secured a license to legally distil at Glenlivet in 1824, and it remained family-run until 1978 when Seagram bought a controlling stake in what had by then become The Glenlivet Distilleries Ltd, and counting assets such as Glen Grant, Benriach and Longmorn among its portfolio. When Seagram collapsed in 2001, Pernod-Ricard acquired its sizeable Chivas Brothers Scotch whisky division, with Glenlivet the crown jewel in an empire rivalled only by Diageo.
The 12 year old was the entry level Glenlivet expression for many decades, eventually being replaced by the Founder's Reserve in 2015. The expression returned in an elevated spot in the core range in 2018, before being promptly rebranded as the 12 year old Double Oak the following year, as the distillery's entire permanent portfolio of releases was overhauled.