Strathmill logo with stork in reeds illustration.

Strathmill Distillery

  • Scotland, UK
Phone Number
  • +441542883000
  • United Kingdom, Keith

Strathmill Distillery building with railroad tracks in front.

History of Strathmill Distillery

Strathmill Distillery, located in the Speyside region of Scotland, known for its rich whisky heritage, has a storied history that dates back to the late 19th century. The distillery was established in 1891, initially under the name Glenisla-Glenlivet Distillery. It was founded during a period of rapid growth in the whisky industry, spurred by a rising demand for Scotch whisky.

The Founders and Early Years

The distillery was founded by A. P. Blyth and his son, who initially set it up as a conversion of an old corn mill, hence the name ‘Strathmill’, which means ‘the mill in the long valley’. This transformation marked the transition of the site from an industrial grain processing facility to a producer of fine spirits. The decision to convert an existing structure rather than building from scratch was likely influenced by economic considerations and the suitability of the mill for whisky production.

Expansion and Development

In the early years, Strathmill experienced several changes in ownership and underwent significant expansions. These changes reflected the evolving landscape of the Scotch whisky industry, which was characterized by consolidation and modernization. The distillery was acquired by W. & A. Gilbey, a famous wine and spirits merchant, in 1895. This acquisition was pivotal in shaping the future of Strathmill, as Gilbey was one of the first businesses in the UK to own a distillery for ensuring a consistent supply of whisky for their blends.

The Whisky Boom and Prohibition Impact

The late 19th and early 20th centuries were a golden era for Scotch whisky, and Strathmill thrived during this period. However, like many other distilleries, it faced challenges during the Prohibition era in the United States, which led to a significant decline in whisky exports.

Post-Prohibition Era and Modern Times

After Prohibition ended, Strathmill gradually regained its market, but the whisky landscape had changed. The focus shifted towards blended whiskies, and Strathmill’s output primarily became a component in popular blends. Today, the distillery is owned by Diageo, a global leader in beverage alcohol, and continues to produce whisky that contributes to various renowned blended Scotch whiskies.

Legacy and Future Prospects

Strathmill Distillery, with its rich history and steady production, continues to play a vital role in the Scotch whisky industry. While it may not have the same level of fame as some single malt producers, its contribution to blended Scotch whisky is invaluable. As consumer preferences evolve and interest in whisky continues to grow globally, Strathmill’s legacy as a quality whisky producer is likely to be recognized more widely in the years to come.

Strathmill Distillery Tour Information and Experience 

Strathmill Distillery, located in the heart of Speyside, Scotland, offers an immersive experience into the world of Scotch whisky. Known for its rich heritage and distinctive single malt, Strathmill attracts visitors from around the globe. The tour provides an in-depth look into the whisky-making process, from grain to glass.

History and Heritage

The tour begins with an introduction to the distillery’s storied past. Originally a corn mill, Strathmill converted into a whisky distillery in the late 19th century. The guide delves into how historical events and changes in ownership have shaped the distillery’s character and production techniques.

The Whisky Making Process

Malting and Mashing

The first stop is the malting and mashing area. Here, visitors learn about the selection of barley and the malting process, which is essential for converting the grain’s starches into fermentable sugars.


The tour then progresses to the fermentation area. Large wooden or stainless steel washbacks are used for fermenting the malted barley, a process that significantly influences the flavour of the whisky.


A highlight of the tour is the still room. Strathmill’s distinctive pot stills, with their unique shape and size, are pivotal in defining the final spirit’s character. The guide explains the distillation process and how the cut points are chosen to ensure the desired quality.

Maturation and Warehousing

The journey continues to the on-site warehouses where the whisky matures in oak casks. The guide explains how different casks, such as American oak or sherry casks, impart various flavours and colours to the whisky.

Tasting Experience

Arguably the most anticipated part of the tour, the tasting session allows visitors to sample several of Strathmill’s expressions. This is an opportunity to understand and appreciate the nuances of aroma, taste, and finish that define Strathmill’s whiskies.

Additional Features

Visitor Centre and Gift Shop

The tour typically concludes at the visitor centre, where guests can browse through a range of Strathmill whiskies and merchandise. It’s a perfect place to purchase a souvenir or a bottle of Strathmill’s finest to take home.

Special Events and Bookings

Strathmill occasionally hosts special events, including masterclasses and limited-edition tastings. Visitors are encouraged to check the distillery’s schedule in advance and book these unique experiences.


Strathmill Distillery’s tour is a comprehensive and enlightening journey into the art of whisky making. It offers a blend of historical insights, technical knowledge, and sensory experiences, making it a fulfilling outing for both whisky aficionados and casual visitors. The tour not only showcases the craftsmanship behind Strathmill’s whisky but also celebrates the rich heritage of Speyside’s whisky-making tradition.

Flask & Barrel Review of Strathmill Distillery

As a whisky collector, I’ve been on my fair share of distillery tours, but Strathmill stands out in several ways.

First off, the location in Speyside is just beautiful. There’s something about the Scottish countryside that adds an extra layer of charm to whisky tours. Upon arriving, the traditional architecture of the distillery caught my eye – it has this classic, rustic feel that immediately sets the tone for an authentic experience.

The tour itself was well-organised and insightful. It kicked off with a fascinating introduction to Strathmill’s history. I’ve always appreciated when a distillery acknowledges its past, and Strathmill does this beautifully. Learning about its evolution from a flour mill to a whisky distillery was intriguing and gave me a deeper appreciation for each sip.

As we moved into the production areas, the guide did an excellent job of explaining the processes without getting too technical. Seeing the old milling equipment and the fermentation tanks was a treat. The still room was particularly impressive. The copper stills are not just functional; they’re like pieces of art, and the guide’s knowledge about the distillation process was evident.

Now, the tasting session – that was the highlight for me. Strathmill’s whisky has this unique, light, and slightly fruity character that’s just delightful. It’s not as heavy as some other Speyside whiskies, which I personally find quite refreshing. The chance to sample a few different expressions and learn about their flavour profiles was a real joy.

If I had to point out a downside, I’d say the gift shop could have had a wider range of Strathmill-specific merchandise. As a collector, I love taking home something unique from each distillery visit.

Overall, I’d rate my experience at Strathmill Distillery a solid 4.7 out of 5. It’s a must-visit for anyone who appreciates good whisky and wants to learn more about the production process in a charming, traditional setting. The staff’s friendliness and expertise made the tour both enjoyable and educational. Highly recommended!

What To Do Nearby Strathmill Distillery

Ben Aigan: Approximately 12.31 km from the distillery, Ben Aigan is a hill offering scenic views of Speyside and the Moray Firth. It’s an excellent spot for hiking and enjoying panoramic landscapes​​.

Bin of Cullen: Located about 14.05 km away, Bin of Cullen is a hill known for its trekking opportunities and stunning views of the surrounding area​​.

Keith & Dufftown Railway: At a distance of around 14.44 km, this historic railway provides a scenic journey between Dufftown and Keith, offering insights into the region’s railway history​​.

Huntly Castle: Situated approximately 14.48 km from Strathisla Distillery, Huntly Castle is a notable ruin with a rich history, located where the rivers Deveron and Bogie meet​​.

Balvenie Castle: This castle, overshadowed by the nearby Glenfiddich distillery, is about 14.54 km away and offers a glimpse into Scotland’s medieval past​​.

Speyside Cooperage Visitor Centre: Roughly 15.31 km from the distillery, this unique visitor centre showcases the art of barrel-making and its importance to the whisky industry​​.

Craigellachie Bridge: A 15.58 km journey will take you to this cast-iron arch bridge across the River Spey, designed by Thomas Telford and commemorated on a Royal Mail postage stamp​​.

Auchindoun Castle: Located 15.84 km from Strathisla, Auchindoun Castle is a 15th-century tower castle offering impressive views and a sense of the region’s history​​.

River Fiddich: At a distance of about 16.38 km, this tributary of the River Spey offers beautiful natural scenery and opportunities for leisurely walks​​.

Glen Of Rothes Trout Fishery: This fishery, about 17.03 km away, offers angling opportunities in a scenic Highland setting​​.

Loch na Bo: Around 17.25 km from the distillery, this picturesque man-made loch is surrounded by woodland and abundant in wildlife​​.

Cullen Beach: An attractive golden sandy beach approximately 17.94 km from Strathisla, known for water sports, fishing, and its unique rock formations​​.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Strathmill Distillery?

The Bengal Spice Takeaway and Restaurant: It has a rating of 4.1 stars on Google Maps. The restaurant specializes in Indian cuisine. The contact number is +441542888072 and their address is 94 Mid St, Keith AB55 5AE, United Kingdom.

Sunset Indian Takeaway: This restaurant has a 4.1-star rating and offers Indian cuisine. You can call them at +441542888383 and the address is 142 Mid St, Keith AB55 5BJ, United Kingdom.

Tooty’s Takeaway & Cafe: It has a rating of 4.1 stars, known for its fish and chips. You can call them at +441542882398 and their address is 85 Mid St, Keith AB55 5AF, United Kingdom.

What hotels are near Strathmill Distillery?

The Craigellachie Hotel: Rated 4.5 stars, this 4-star hotel offers tranquil rooms and a whisky bar. Detailed contact information is +441340881204 and address is Victoria St, Speyside Way, Craigellachie, Aberlour AB38 9SR, United Kingdom.

Highlander Inn: This 3-star hotel has a 4.6-star rating and features a village pub with rooms and free breakfast. You can call them at +441340881446 and address is 10 Victoria St, Craigellachie, Aberlour AB38 9SR, United Kingdom.

Keith Holiday Park: Rated 4.5 stars, this holiday park’s address is Dunnyduff Rd, Keith AB55 5JG, United Kingdom. You can call them at +447709130375.