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Issue 64 - Where it all started (Glenlivet)

Whisky Magazine Issue 64
June 2007


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Where it all started (Glenlivet)

Situated in the heart of Speyside,The Glenlivet is a study of modern and progressive whisky making in the most historic of settings. Dominic Roskrow reports

It's in places like this, on days like this, that you can fear most for our planet. We're standing in the heart of historic Speyside, high above the River Spey, and the sun is warm on our faces. Far below the light flits over the ruffled surface of the river as its waters negotiate the rocks and stones that once formed the stepping stones, for cattle, horse and human as they carried their Highland cargos southwards. Buzzards fly above us and by the roadside we have already seen red squirrels. The rich green grass and clear blue skies make us screw up our eyes from the glare. The view is magnificent.

And then a chill breeze cuts through us and we are reminded in the starkest terms that this is not high summer or even late spring. This is early April and this is not how it should be. For if there are few outward signs that anything is wrong, then that's the whole point; there should be signs. The glitter of ground frost in the glen below perhaps, or the icing cake beauty of snow on the hills and bens.

Instead there is nothing. There has been no snow this winter of any note at all. What there has been has disappeared as quickly and silently as the smugglers who used to frequent this valley. And without snow to melt in spring and run into the Spey, the Livet and its tributaries, there is a problem.

Take these words from an article on this very place written by Dave Broom some eight or so years ago: “ ‘And in The Highlands the A939 Cockbridge to Tomintoul is blocked'. This ...

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