Glen Keith 

Cask Trade

Glen Keith 

Name: Glen Keith 

Founded: 1957 

Region: Speyside 

Owner: Pernod Ricard 

Capacity: 6m litres 

Stills: 6 

Fermentation: 55 hours 

Peated/Unpeated: Unpeated 

Casks Used: Bourbon 

Current Sales: N/A 

Recent significant awards: None entered. 

Independent bottlings: Around 500 

Core Range: Distillery Edition NAS. 


In whisky terms Glen Keith is relatively new. Built by Seagram's between 1957 and 1960, Glen Keith was  a modern distillery and very experimental. It was the first distillery built in Speyside after the whisky crash in 1898. 

From its inception the distillery exclusively used triple-distilled malt, switching between that and double-distilled varieties until the 1980s. It also experimented with wheat mash and was the pioneer in adopting gas-fired direct heating for its stills, which are now powered by steam. 

The distillery was known for producing heavily peated variants including Glenisla; one variant was crafted by filtering peat smoke through water before concentrating it, and the other was produced traditionally - by burning the cut and dried peat in the kiln to end the malting process. Various yeast types were tested as well and the diverse sizes and shapes of the stills facilitated these innovative experiments. 

The whisky from Glen Keith was destined for blends and with whisky being unpopular in the 1980’s, the distillery produced less and less spirit until in 1999 the site was mothballed. Over the next decade Glen Keith gained near mythical status as there were only two official bottlings. The 10 year old released in 1990 and the “1983” released in 1994.  

Chivas Brothers bought the distillery in 2001, but it was left mothballed for over ten years until 2012. They completely removed the old equipment and built a new modern distillery inside the beautifully preserved original building. The whisky is mostly destined for blending, with only the Distillery Edition bottling forming the core range. In 2019, a series of limited-edition bottlings, known as The Secret Speyside Collection, were released, two 21 year old expressions, a 25 year old and a 28 year old, which have been very well received.