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George Smith of Glenlivet

Whisky distiller

First of the licensed distillers of Speyside in an era when the trade was largely illicit. Smith’s persistence and financial success eventually carried the day for the prolicensers and, with the help of Edinburgh merchant Andrew Usher, the Glenlivet whisky became the most popular whisky in the country. Ironically, success brought its own complications and Smith had to fight to retain exclusive use of the name Glenlivet. The settlement still stands: other companies could use the name Glenlivet as a hyphenated suffix but only Smith’s family company could use the direct article, as The Glenlivet.