Chivas Brothers already owned Strathisla Distillery and built Glen Keith – literally – across the street, on the site of an old corn mill, between 1957 and 1960. Initially equipped with three stills for the owners had triple distillation in mind, which is rather exceptional for a Speysider. In 1970, two more still were added and triple distillation was abandoned. In 1973, a sixth still was installed, enabling the stills to work in pairs.
Glen Keith was rather innovative: it was the First distillery to use gas to heat the stills. In 1973 a switch over was made to steam coils. And it was also the first distillery to use computers in the distilling process. In 1999 the distillery was mothballed, but all the equipment is still there. It was sold to Pernod Ricard in 2001, but not yet re-opened. But who knows?
The stocks of Glen Keith are primarily used for the blends of Passport whisky and only two official bottles were released: the 10 Year Old and a vintage 1983.
This 10 Year Old has an exceptionally light nose, very sweet and flowery. There is a touch of liquorice and something that reminds you of freshly cut grass. It misses profoundness, but is nevertheless quite pleasant. Slightly spicy.
For sweet tooths (like myself), this has a very nice mouthfeel with honey, herbal tea, liquorice, nutmeg and cinnamon. Not bad at all for such a lightweight whisky.
It’s spicy honey and lavender that surface in the medium long finish, with a touch of overripe fruit and a bitter death.
This is a very mediocre malt and certainly nothing fancy. But it could be a pleasant aperitif, if it weren’t so hard to come by. If you do find it, it’s usually overpriced already. It shouldn’t be more expensive than 25 pounds, but in some places it’s already priced at double that amount! Pity. Against all expectations, this is a pretty good run of the mill whisky.
This has got to be one of my all time favorites and i used to be able to pick it up for £15 a bottle...I guess i may be a bit biased as i used to live next door to the distillery.. Now mothballed of course, but great drinking..
I should add that I scored this one 76 (but that comes out as 8/10, which is not quite the same).