Said to be the oldest operating distillery in the Highlands, the Strathilsa Distillery was founded in 1786 by George Taylor and Alexander Milne under the name Milltown distillery and is the home of Chivas Scotch Whisky. The name was first changed to Strathisla in 1870, then to Milton in 1890 and finally to Strathisla Distillery again in 1951. In 1965, the number of stills at Strathisla was doubled from two to four. These new stills were steam heated from the beginning, but the two old stills weren't until 1992.
The spirit isn't filled into casks at the Strathisla distillery directly. Instead, it is first transported to the nearby Glen Keith distillery via pipes to be casked there. Most of the casks are stored elsewhere, but a handful of them are transported back to the Strathisla distillery to mature on site. For this purpose, the distillery still includes two warehouses; one traditional 'dunnage' warehouse and a modern 'racked' variety. The rest of the casks are stored in one of the three bonded warehouses of Chivas Brothers and one of them is located in Keith.
Often described as the most picturesque distillery in Scotland, Strathisla proves that beauty really isn't skin deep. Beneath the iconic twin pagodas, the copper stills have a distinctive shape that determines the unique character of every drop of Strathisla Scotch whisky – its signature richness that is fruity and full-bodied.
The distillery itself was completed in 1786 (under the name of Milton or Milltown), making it one of the oldest distilleries from the 18th century which still in exists. This beautifully aged distillery has witnessed its fair share of history when Strathisla was blazed in flames in 1876. An explosion in the malt mill during 1879 also was a huge blow to the establishment.
The Strathisla Distillery was quickly rebuilt, and this time with its own bottling plant. In 1880, William Longmore retired and his son-in-law John Geddes-Brown took control of the distillery. This resulted in the formation of William Longmore & Co. Ten years later in 1890, the name of the distillery was changed to Milton (referring to the nearby Milton Castle).
Strathisla Distillery embraces the Scottish culture in all its produces and makes one feel closer to the true spirit of their rich and smooth Scotch whisky blends.