Glen Keith distillery

Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Although Glen Keith's stills are slender with long, upward-angled lyne arms indicating this is a light site, it has produced a wide variety of different makes thanks to its role as the pilot plant for many of Seagram/Chivas Brothers’ distilling trials. Today its character is light and fruity. 

  • Region
  • Production type
    Single malt
  • Distillery Status
  • Brands produced here

Glen Keith History

With sales of Chivas Regal rising throughout the 1950s, Sam Bronfman felt that he needed another distillery to supply juice for his blends – not just Chivas but Passport and 100 Pipers. He picked the site of a former meal mill in Keith, directly behind his existing Strathisla plant. As well as providing fillings for blends, Glen Keith became the Seagram’s experimental plant and still houses the Chivas Brothers lab.

It ran triple-distilled malt from the word go and alternated it with double distilled until the 1980s, ran trials with a wheat mash, was the first distillery to use gas-fired direct heating (all its stills are now steam-driven) and in its time also produced heavy peated variants [Glenisla] one made with peat smoke being passed through water which was then concentrated and the other in the normal manner. There were also trials with different yeast types. The fact that the stills were different shapes and sizes helped in these innovative trials.

It was mothballed in 1999, only reopening (under new owner Pernod Ricard) in 2013 after a complete refit which saw a new mash tun and washbacks being installed.

While there was a 10-year-old bottling it was never a front-line malt. There are occasional sightings of it (and Glen Isla) from independent bottlers.



  • 1957-60 Glen Keith distillery is built by Seagram
  • 1970 Two more stills are added, making five in total. All are direct gas-fired
  • 1994 A 10-year-old expression released
  • 1999 The distillery is mothballed
  • 2013 Glen Keith officially reopens with five stills operational

Glen Keith Facts

  • Capacity (mlpa) i
  • Fermentation Time i
    55 hours
  • Filling Strength i
  • Grist Weight (t) i
  • Heat Source i
  • Malt Specification i
  • Mash Tun Type i
    Briggs lauter
  • New-make Strength i
  • Spirit Still Charge (l) i
  • Stills i
    3 wash; 3 spirit
  • Wash Still Charge (l) i
  • Washback Charge (l) i
  • Washback Size (l) i
  • Washback Type i
    9 wood; 6 stainless steel
  • Washbacks i
  • Water Source i
    Crossburn and Newmill Springs
  • Wort Clarity i


Parent company

Current owner

Previous owner


Glen Keith Distillery
Station Road
AB55 5BU
United Kingdom
+44 1542 783044
Visitor Opening Hours
Not open to the public


See also

  • Aberlour Aberlour Aberlour Distillery & brand


    Part of Chivas Brothers' portfolio, Aberlour is best known for its cult expression, A'Bunadh.

  • Braeval Braeval Braeval Distillery & brand


    The joint highest Scottish distillery.

  • Glenallachie Glenallachie Glenallachie Distillery & brand


    Delicate and fruity filling for blends.

  • The Glenlivet The Glenlivet The Glenlivet Distillery & brand

    The Glenlivet

    Globally popular Speyside single malt.

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