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Glen Spey

The Glen Spey distillery sits below the ruins of Castle Rothes, once home to the Earls of Rothes who lived there until a devastating fire in 1662. Now just a few sections of wall remain. The Glen Spey whisky distillery was founded as the Mill of Rothes in 1878 by James Stuart and Co, the buildings having started out life as an oatmeal mill. Six years later, James Stuart purchased the Macallan distillery and in 1887 the English company W & A Gilbey acquired the Glen Spey for £11,000.

The distillery has some rather interesting features. For one, Glen Spey shares its water source, the Rothes Burn, with several other distilleries, though not only did they draw water, but also discard hot waters that had previously cooled their stills. By the time the water reached Glen Spey it was far too hot to cool the stills effectively, thus water coolers were employed. This is no longer necessary as regulations are somewhat stricter and the distilleries must now cool their water before discarding it. Another feature of note being the spirit stills, which are operated at a low pressure, thus negating the use of release valves. The spirit stills are also fitted with purifiers; these increase the reflux and so more of the spirit is distilled again before it is condensed. This provides a lighter tasting single malt whisky and a perfect blending component.

Indeed, the Scotch whisky produced at the Glen Spey distillery has long since been used as a blending agent. Notably a good proportion of the whisky is used in J&B blends. Following the installation of a further pair of stills in 1970, the current capacity is 1.39 million litres per annum. In 1962, United Wine Traders merged with W & A Gilbey to form International Distillers and Vintners. A decade later, Watney Mann acquired the company shortly after being purchased by Grand Metropolitan. Following the 1997 merger between Grand Metropolitan and Guinness, Glen Spey is under Diageo ownership. There have been few official releases; today there is just a twelve year-old, although there are a few independent bottlings to be found.

Glen Spey Whisky Distillery

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About Glen Spey Whisky Distillery

Distillery Number

01340 831215

Distillery Capacity

1 390 000 litres

Distillery Founded


Distillery Status


Distillery Owner


Distillery Address

Rothes, Moray

Distillery Website


James Stuart & Co. founds the distillery which becomes known by the name Mill of Rothes.


James Stuart buys Macallan.


W. & A. Gilbey buys the distillery for £11 000 thus becoming the first English company to buy a Scottish malt distillery.


A fire breaks out.


W. & A. Gilbey combines forces with United Wine Traders and forms International Distillers & Vintners (IDV).


The stills are increased from two to four.


IDV is bought by Watney Mann who are then acquired by Grand Metropolitan.


Guiness and Grand Metropolitan merge to form Diageo.


A 12 year old is launched in the Flora & Fauna series.

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Bottled for the Hepburn's Choice range, this is an 11 year old Glen Spey single malt Scotch whisky. It was distilled in 2002 and left to mature in a single Sherry butt, until 2014, when it was bottled...  More info
A 12 year old from Glen Spey, released as part of Diageo's Flora and Fauna series.  More info
This independently bottled single malt was distilled by the Glen Spey distillery back in the year 2000 (it still sounds so futuristic). In cask #263, this Glen Spey matured for 13 years, until it was...  More info
A tasty 14 year old Glen Spey from Douglas Laing's Old Malt Cask range. This was distilled in February of 1997 and aged in a single refill hogshead.  More info
From the lovely chaps at Douglas Laing comes this independent bottling of Glen Spey single malt Scotch whisky, matured in a single refill hogshead for 15 years. It was distilled by the Speyside...  More info
A 17 year old Glen Spey single malt Scotch whisky, coming to you via WM Cadenhead's Small Batch range. This independently bottled Speysider was distilled back in 1995 and left to age in bourbon...  More info
An independent bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the Glen Spey distillery, presented by Hunter Laing for the Old Malt Cask range. It was distilled in January 1997 and matured in a single...  More info
Distilled at Glen Spey in 1995, aged in refill American hogshead before bottling in 2008 by Gordon and MacPhail.  More info
This right here is an independently bottled Glen Spey single malt Scotch whisky, taken from a single cask which lovingly matured the whisky from December 1991 to February 2014. At that point, it was...  More info
A 25 year old Glen Spey single malt, bottled as part of Speciality Drinks' Single Malts of Scotland independent bottling range. It was distilled back in September 1988 and left to mature in a single...  More info
Bottled and blended at Glen Spey, Spey Royal is a blended Scotch whisky with this bottle dating from around the 1970s.  More info
This is an 11 year old Glen Spey single malt Scotch whisky, bottled by the fine folks at Douglas Laing. Matured in a single refill butt from Summer 2002 to Spring 2014, this has become part of their...  More info
Single cask Glen Spey distilled in May 1993 and matured for 12 years in refill hogshead number 1984 before bottling in July 2005 by Douglas Laing for their Old Malt Cask range. An outturn of 358...  More info
For this Small Batch release, WM Cadenhead bottled a 12 year old single malt Scotch whisky from the Glen Spey distillery. It was distilled in 2001 and aged in bourbon hogsheads until 2014, when the...  More info
Hey, some Glen Spey! This 17 year old Glen Spey single malt Scotch whisky was drawn from a single cask and bottled by WM Cadenhead, one of the oldest independent bottlers in Scotland. 312 bottles were...  More info
Distilled in 1981 at Glen Spey, this was bottled for Berry Brothers and Rudd, and it offers oodles of honeyed, spicy flavour with ripe fruit and hints of smoke.  More info
The Manager's Choice range includes a single cask from each of Diageo's distilleries. This Glen Spey was distilled in 1996 and bottled in 2009, cask number 240.  More info
One of the best of the bunch of Diageo's 2010 special releases, this 21 year old has bags of fresh fruit. We got Strawberries, Pineapple and Orange. Touch of Almond Oil on the finish.  More info
User Rating:  (4 Reviews)
Bottled for Duncan Taylor's Dimensions range, this Glen Spey from Speyside matured for 21 years in a sherry cask before being bottled with an outturn of 260 bottles.  More info
23 year old Glen SPey single malt, drawn from a single hogshead cask which housed the whisky for over two decades. It was distilled in August 1991 and bottled in June 2015 by Càrn Mòr for their...  More info
A 25 year old Glen Spey, distilled in November of 1986 and aged in a refill hogshead before bottling in February 2012. This is a release of just 299 bottles, bottled by Douglas Laing for their...  More info
Drawn from a single bourbon barrel, this 27 year old Glen Spey was bottled by A. D. Rattray in January 2014. It was popped into the barrel by the distillery in Speyside in September 1986. 224 bottles...  More info
30 year old Speyside whisky, this Glen Spey was bottled at cask strength by Speciality Drinks for their Anniversary Selection. Part of a release of 455 bottles.  More info
A well aged Glen Spey. This was distilled in December of 1976 and matured for 32 years in a refill hogshead before bottling in September 2009. A release of 122 bottles, bottled by Douglas Laing.  More info
The Glen Spey distillery in Speyside produce much of their whisky for use in blends. However, independent bottlers do get their hands on single casks of their single malt Scotch whisky every once in a...  More info
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