Founded by James Stewart in 1878 on the site of his Corn Mill, Glen Spey distillery is located in the town of Rothes on Speyside. Water for this distillery is drawn from the Doonie Burn and it now has 2 wash stills and 2 spirit stills. Eight years after it was established James Stewart sold the distillery after he had purchased Macallan.
The new owners W & A Gilbey (of Gin fame) continued production and are noted as the first company from south of the border to purchase a Scottish distillery.
In 1920 the distillery was destroyed by fire but was rebuilt by Gilbey’s. This company were able to guide the distillery through the troubled times of the First World War and the subsequent financial collapse.
Later Gilbey’s merged with United Wine Traders and started International Distillers & Vintners which over time became part of the mighty Diageo. The distillery maintains modest production but nearly all the malt whisky it produces is used in the blending of JB Rare blended whisky another part of Diageo. The distillery is interesting in that the two spirit stills are fitted with purifiers which act like condensers and return part of the vapour to the still to be re-distilled.
A Connoisseurs Choice was released in 1995 by Gordon & MacPhail. However a 12 year old was the first bottled single malt whisky released officially by this distillery in 2001 and this was followed in 2004 by a 30 year old Anniversary Selection which was a refined product from 2 casks that had escaped being used for blending. Some experts say this refined single malt whisky was well worth waiting for.
Taste: Light, Clean with a touch of herbs