Glen Spey distillery

Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Glen Spey is substantially different to the corn husk dryness of Knockando or to Strathmill. As with its neighbour, Glen Grant, there’s a purifier pipe at work here which brings in a pleasing light oiliness to the spirit adding some texture to its nuttiness.

  • Region
  • Production type
    Single malt
  • Distillery Status

Glen Spey History

The distillery was built as Mill of Rothes in 1878 (the same year as its neighbour Glenrothes) by a local grain merchant James Stuart who was, at the time, the licensee of Macallan. It changed name to Glen Spey in 1887 when Stuart bought Macallan and sold the plant to the London gin producer W&A Gilbey as its first foray into Scotch. In time it would add Knockando and Strathmill to its estate. The distillery became the ‘home’ of its Spey Royal blend.

A merger between Gilbey and the parent company of fellow London-based wine merchant Justerini & Brooks helped to create IDV and brought with it the J&B blend, which Glen Spey was already providing fillings for. The merger in 1997 between IDV and Guinness, which created Diageo, saw the distillery (and J&B’s ownership) change once more.

Outwith the firm’s ‘Flora & Fauna’ range it is very rarely seen as single malt.


  • 1878 James Stuart builds a distillery known as Mill of Rothes
  • 1887 The distillery's name is changed to Glen Spey when Stuart sells the site to English company W&A Gilbey
  • 1962 W&A Gilbey merges with United Wine Traders to form International Distillers and Vintners (IDV)
  • 1970 An expansion at the distillery increases the number of stills from two to four
  • 1972 IDV is bought by Watney Mann, and subsequently Grand Metropolitan
  • 1997 Guinness and Grand Metropolitan merge and form Diageo
  • 2001 Glen Spey is bottled as a single malt in the Flora & Fauna range
  • 2010 A 21-year-old single malt is released as part of Diageo's Special Releases

Glen Spey Facts

  • Condenser Type i
    Shell and tube
  • Fermentation Time i
    Minimum 46hrs
  • Filling Strength i
  • Grist Weight (t) i
  • Heat Source i
  • Malt Specification i
    Non peated
  • Malt Supplier i
    Mainly in house
  • Mash Tun Type i
  • New-make Phenol Level i
    Non peaty
  • New-make Strength i
  • Spirit Still Charge (l) i
  • Spirit Still Shape i
  • Stills i
  • Wash Still Charge (l) i
  • Wash Still Shape i
  • Washback Type i
  • Washbacks i
  • Water Source i
    Deonie Burn
  • Wort Clarity i
  • Yeast Type i


Current owner

Previous owners


Glen Spey Distillery
AB38 7AT
United Kingdom
+44 1340 832000
Visitor Opening Hours
Not open to the public


See also

  • Auchroisk Auchroisk Auchroisk Distillery & brand


    One of Diageo’s ‘nutty-spicy’ sites.

  • Benrinnes Benrinnes Benrinnes Distillery & brand


    A highly individual Speyside whisky.

  • Blair Athol Blair Athol Blair Athol Distillery & brand

    Blair Athol

    The home of Bell's blended whisky.

  • Caol Ila Caol Ila Caol Ila Distillery & brand

    Caol Ila

    Islay distillery belonging to Diageo.

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