Strathisla Distillery is the longest operating distillery in the Highlands dating back to 1786. The distillery is also one of the most photogenic with twin pagoda roofs, water wheel and old stone walls helping to make it a popular place to tour. Strathisla was previously called Milton and it’s situated by the River Isla in Keith in eastern Speyside.
Strathisla is the spiritual home of Chivas Regal blended whisky and its single malt is a key component of every Chivas blend including Chivas Regal Ultis. Chivas Regal Ultis celebrates and pays homage to 5 Master Whisky Blenders. Launched in 2016, it is a high quality blend of just 5 signature single malt whiskies from the Speyside region. Strathisla, Tormore, Longmorn, Allt A’Bhainne and Braeval.
Strathisla Distillery Visitor Centre was recently upgraded and makes a fitting place for distillery tours to start. It features a relaxing whisky bar area and distillery shop. Strathisla is normally open all year round for distillery tours and tastings however, in the current Covid-19 climate it is even more necessary check their website for the latest opening times and tour availability. Strathisla Tours are very popular and it’s always recommended you book in advance.
The Distillery continually adapts and innovates their tour offerings so visit their website so you might see references online and in guidebooks to some tours that are no longer available.
The Fly Dram is a 10 minute overview of the distillery and a great chance to taste a single malt, blended whisky and grain. The more in depth Chivas Cellar Tasting is set in the warehouse and involved cask strength tasting of Chivas Regal expressions. A unique experience for Chivas fans but also introduces single malt enthusiasts to the world of blends. Drams include Chivas Regal 25 yo and Chivas Ultis.
Strathisla Distillery is at the heart of Chivas Regal whisky. The Chivas: The Blend is one of the few whisky blending experiences in Scotland. Discover your favourite flavour profile using samples of different whisky styles e.g. smoky, cream and fruity before mixing your very own blended whisky.
The Discover the Distillery Reserve Collection is a whisky tasting focussed on exceptional Limited Edition Cask Strength Single malts. This whisky tasting includes 5 varied and exciting expressions of Strathisla Single Malt from the Distillery Reserve Collection.
The Strathisla Distillery Shop sells an extensive range of Chivas Regal expressions. There also stock very limited distillery reserve whiskies. In addition to Strathisla, these can also include Linkwood, Glentauchers and Glenburgie etc.
Highlights & Summary
The Whisky Bar in Strathisla Visitor Centre has some hard to find whiskies. There are many lost distilleries in Scotland and many will never return including Caperdonich which produced both peated and non peated Speyside whisky. You can usually find an expression or two in the Strathisla Bar!
- Range of distillery tours
- In depth experiences e.g. Whisky Blending
- Warehouse Tastings
- Shop – wide range of whiskies including distillery exclusives
- Photogenic distillery
- Taste from various distilleries
- Good public transport links
How to get to Strathisla Distillery & Map
Strathisla Distillery is situated in Keith near the main road between Inverness and Aberdeen (A96). It’s a short walk from the train station and the No. 10 bus service passes close by. If you are driving, please note that drink driving laws in Scotland are extremely strict and there is a zero tolerance policy. Strathisla Distillery sells driver packs which you can use to take away samples for later. For detailed directions click on the link within the map.
Strathisla is a Speyside region distillery situated in Keith. In the town centre you will find places to eat and small local independent shops. There are lots walks in an around Keith (map in Reidhaven Square). The Dufftown to Keith Railway is a major tourist attraction linking two whisky towns. Close to the old station you’ll find the old bridge (Auld Brig) over the River Isla, a lovely spot for a picnic.
Strathisla Distillery is owned by Pernod Ricard and has three sister distilleries you can also visit, each with their own distinctive character. The Glenlivet and Aberlour are also in Speyside and are very much part of the Moray Speyside community. During the pandemic they contributed to the Moray Emergency Relief Fund aimed at supporting the most vulnerable. Much further north in Orkney you will find Scapa Distillery.
Strathisla Distillery is often visited as part of of a Speyside Whisky Tour. See a list of Speyside Distilleries you can visit.