Glenlivet Guardian's Chapter Single Malt Scotch is a limited edition scotch issued in honor of the "Guardians of Glenlivet," a group of registrants banded together to monitor the purity and celebrate the taste and history of the Glenlivet brand. Voted in by the Guardians, it is offered without an age statement (disappointing!) and aged in a series of different barrels, some of which are Spanish sherry casks.
Glenlivet, which translates as "valley of the smooth flowing one," is one of the most well-known and top-selling single-malt scotches in the world. The distillery was "legitimized" (it had been distilling long before then in defiance of law) in 1824 and credited to one George Smith. We're told of a legend where King George IV requested the scotch by name in 1822, years before it was legal. This gave rise to many requests for "Glenlivet" since it was the king's scotch, leading many distilleries to add "glenlivet" after their name, which was considered legal at the time because it was the name of a geographic location and not a company. In 1884, the courts ruled that this distillery and only this distillery could use the indefinite article "the" and call themselves Glenlivet. The distillery is located in remote locations in the mountains in part to hide from tax-collectors. The spring water is mineral rich emerging from "Josie's Well." Glenlivet uses a special lantern shaped copper still with, taller than most stills, that they claim helps remove impurities and and improve the aromatics.
According to The Tasting Panel magazine (July, 2010), they completed a $15 million expansion--increasing their production by 75%--in order to topple Glenfiddich as the #1-selling single-malt scotch. Quoting Brand Director Neil MacDonald: "We've doubled our volume in the eight years that we've (Chivas Bros. / Pernod-Ricard) owned the brand and moved from number three in the world to second place. We're not content to stay there."