Strathmill distillery lies in the town of Keith and was founded in 1891 in old mill buildings. The mill and surrounding buildings were erected in 1823, and were used as an oatmeal mill. During this period the mill was named the Strathisla Mills.
In 1891 the mill was converted into a distillery. Because of its proximity to the river Isla the distillery was renamed the Glenisla-Glenlivet distillery. The distillery was sold in 1895 to the gin company W&A Gilbey who was expanding into the whisky industry. The new owners changed the name to Strathmill to reflect the history of the facilities; the word ‘strathmill’ means ‘the mill in the long valley’.
No major changes were made to the distillery until the 1960s when the current owners, Diageo, merged with W&A Gilbey. The distillery’s capacity was doubled in 1968 and the number of stills was increased form two to four. Through a series of mergers, the ownership of Strathmill has changed several times during the last 50 years.
Although Strathmill released a single malt as early as in 1909, the distillery has always focused on blended whisky; the second official single malt bottling was not to be released until 1993. The focus on blended whisky remains, and Strathmill is an important component of e.g. J&B whisky and Dunhill. As a result, lovers of Strathmill whisky have to put their trust in independent bottlers if they wish to enjoy a Strathmill single malt apart from the 12 year old included in Diageo’s Flora and Fauna Series.
Production at Strathmill
The water is drawn from local sources. The malt is unpeated and bought from Burghead Maltings. Their mash tun holds nine tons and has a diameter of 6.5 meters. The stainless steel washback holds 44 000 liters. The distillery uses four copper stills that are heated with steam coils. The two wash stills hold 11 000 liters each. The two spirit stills are fitted with purifiers and hold 6 700 liters each. The cooling water is taken from the river Isla. There are six storage buildings on site and the annual output is 2.5 million liters.
Phone: +44 (0) 1542 882 295
Visitors: Visitors are welcome after advance booking.