Strathisla Distillery is one of those beautiful, iconic buildings in Moray that most of us have never been into. On a quick drive past, you’ll notice the beauty of its twin pagodas and well-kept grounds but with current ownership under Chivas Brothers (Pernod Ricard) and over 14,000 international visitors every year, what connection does this distillery now have with someone from the area?
Wonder no more; here are reasons three and four for us to be proud of the heritage and the present existence of the wonderful Strathisla Distillery.
The first written evidence of Scotch Whisky in Scotland dates back to the 1400s; and love or hate the beverage itself, it is an integral part of the culture and heritage of Scotland and the Speyside area in general. It would be a challenge to visit Strathisla Distillery and leave without appreciating the result of over 600 years of local history. All of the traditions, processes and ultimately the produce has stemmed from these times.
Yes, even the current ownership – Chivas Brothers (owned by Pernod Ricard) – is fitting. While Chivas Brothers bought Strathisla Distillery as late as in 1950, after the second world war, Chivas has a relationship with the Distillery dating back to the mid 1800s.
James and John Chivas were two brothers (hence the name Chivas Brothers) born and bred in Aberdeenshire, who ultimately took over a grocers‘ shop in Union Street in the mid 1800s, supplying fine wines and whiskies to a notable clientelle – not least Queen Victoria whose love of Scotland and its whiskies is widely known. The brothers sent horses out to Speyside to do the rounds of their favoured distilleries and return to Aberdeen where James Chivas blended the rougher single malts (at that time) into smoother drinks. It is only fitting then, that the success of Chivas culminated in them taking over ownership of the distillery.
Strathisla Single Malt Whisky can only be made in Keith. One of the most important reasons for this is the source of crystal-clear spring water situated right across the road. It’s that simple. The beautiful spring water falls in the hills and is pushed through peat banks and sandstone over hundreds of years only to bubble out as Broomhill Spring right in front of the distillery. No other whisky in the world can taste like Strathisla Single Malt as no other distillery in the world has access to this exact water source found in Keith.
While many of us take the quality of our local spring water for granted, people travel from all over the world to marvel at the flavour of Strathisla and the spring from where it all starts.
Give us a shout; we would be delighted to include this distillery in one of our infamous Ace Tours. Then you could see for yourself what we’re raving about.