Distillery Visits – The Spey Distillery

Located close to Drumguish, just a short trip from Kingussie, this relatively small distillery which opened in 1990 produces about 600,000 litres of spirt every year, taking it’s water from the nearby river Tromie.

It is always fantastic to be invited to have a look around a distillery, even more so when it is not officially open to the public…

The distillery itself is contained within one building with the grain mill room (smallest in Scotland apparently) in a small outbuilding nearby. It is designed to make maximum use of the space and is very production line looking. It only requires one man per shift to operate the whole plant via a series of 70 valves, levers and dials.

No computers in sight here.

The surrounding countryside is spectacular and the grounds of the distillery and offices are no exception. The old buildings are in well kept grounds with the River Tromie running right through the middle.

In a previous life there used to be an old mill on the site. The channel which once powered the mills wheel still diverts water to the distillery to this day.

Sandy (the welcoming and knowledgable distillery manager, and our tour guide for the day) then led the way to a very comfortable tasting room and introduced me to the full range of Spey Whiskies.

I’m ashamed to say that until this point Spey is a brand that has completely passed me by, I had never tried any of their range before so was very much looking forward to it.

They have 5 core expressions:

Spey Tenné (a NAS port finish)

Spey 12

Spey 18 (matured in sherry casks)

Spey Chairmans Choice

Spey Royal Choice


The packaging and presentation in particular is of a vey high standard and worthy of note.  The bottles are distinctive and remind me of a more continental style of bottle – think perhaps Cognac or Schnapps bottles.

The presentation boxes are quite something with wood and leather inlays. Some also double as cigar humidors (a use for empty whisky boxes at last)

Overall I’m quite impressed with the range. They might not have the name or reputation of some of their illustrious Speyside neighbours but there is something likeable about each one

You can find more of my tasting notes in the Amateur Drammers Archives.

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  1. […] I visited the distillery several years back – click here to read my article […]

  2. […] reviewed a few releases from Spey Distillery before, in fact I was lucky enough to have a private tour of the distillery with manager (and whisky legend) Sandy Jamieson last year. You can also catch up with Sandys […]

  3. […] previously visited the distillery (if you haven’t visited you really must) and tried several of their expressions, which I […]

  4. […] enjoyed a very pleasant visit to The Speyside Distillery last month (see my thoughts here) and was lucky enough to get to taste several of their expressions in the company of distillery […]

  5. […] Sandy is the manager at the Spey Distillery that I visited last month. You can re-read the article here. […]

  6. AmateurDrammer · ·

    Yeah, it was mentioned. It’s very much a separate entity from the Spey brand. Hopefully have more on this later.
    As for the reference to a footballer…I don’t know what you mean 😉

  7. “Somewhat bizarrely Spey have Michael Owen as their brand representative in the Far East. Safe to say Mr Owen seems to have a better taste in whisky than a certain other ex footballer…” Nice thinly veiled reference at Mr DB mate =D

    Brilliant review of a not so well known distillery and one that I hope to visit the next time I find myself in Scotland.

    Did they mention anything about the Beinn Dhub expression when you were there btw?



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