Glen Keith distillery information
Founded by by Chivas Brothers (part of Canadian firm Distillers Corporation-Seagrams Ltd) in 1958, the Glen Keith distillery was constructed to ensure a steady supply of whisky to be used in blending. It’s located in a former mill on the banks of the river Isla, pretty much across from the Strathisla distillery which is also owned by Chivas. It was originally equipped with 3 stills, which were to be used for triple distillation (nowadays mostly used in the Lowlands, particularly Auchentoshan). The distillery was created attempting to give it a traditional look and feel, and Philip Morrice described it as “an excellent job has been done in recreating the form and ambiance of a turn-of-the-century Highland malt whisky distillery”.
In 1970, two additional stills were added, for a total of five. Triple distillation is abandoned in favor of standard double distillation. In September the same year, Glen Keith became the first Scottish distillery to be equipped with gas-fired stills. In 1973, the stills were converted to use steam heating. In 1976, the Saladin boxes used for malting the barley were closed. In 1980, Glen Keith once again pioneered the business by being the first distillery to use a micro processor computer to control the milling, mashing, and eventually distillation process.
In 1999, Seagrams decided to mothball the distillery. Chivas Brothers was purchased by Pernod Ricard in 2001, but initially they showed no interest in reviving Glen Keith. However, they must have changed their minds, as in 2012, extensive reconstruction started, seeing the Glen Keith distillery reopen in June 2013 (though production apparently already quietly resumed in April 2013).
Glen Keith whisky
Most whisky distilled at Glen Keith finds its way into the Chivas blends, particularly Passport. Two official bottles were released:
- Glen Keith 1983
- 10 Year Old Heritage Selection (1994).
Additionally, two peated malts were produced (the same was done by Seagram at Caperdonich and Benriach):
|Water source||Balloch Hill springs|
|Owned by||Pernod Ricard|
+44 (0)1542 - 78 30 44
|Mash tun||8 tonnes||1|
|Washback||45,000 litres||15 (9 wood, 6 stainless steel)|
|Wash still||15,300 litres||3|
|Spirit Still||11,100 litres||3|
|Expected yearly output in LPA (Litres of pure alcohol)||6,000,000|