All about making whisky
Glen Keith was one of the rare distilleries to be built in the 20th century. It was built by the Chivas Brothers in 1957 on the site of a former mill. In 1960, three stills were installed, with two more being added in 1970 and a sixth in 1983. When it first began, Glen Keith produced a triple-distilled malt - a relatively rare practice for a Highland malt. But in the 1970s, it adopted the more conventional method of double distillation. Glen Keith is also commercialised under two other names, Glenisla and Craigduff, from independent bottlers Signatory Vintage and Gordon & MacPhail.
This independent bottler is without a doubt one of the most highly acclaimed in Scotland. It stands out, not for its age (though it is the oldest independent bottler in Scotland), but for its complete mastery of cask ageing. Gordon & MacPhail is the only bottler to have its own casks - carefully chosen for the purpose - filled by the distilleries themselves, instead of simply buying the ones suggested to them by the latter. This allows it to determine, in advance and with great precision, exactly how many years a whisky will need to reach ideal maturation.
Of all the existing specialist bottling ranges, Connoisseurs Choice is without doubt the oldest. The label underwent a few changes in the 1980s. Plainer and more restrained, it became two-toned with creams and browns. When segmentation by region of production region was adopted by the whisky industry in the early 1990s, the range changed its identity again. The label now shows a map of the region of Scotland where the malt comes from. To the delight of whisky enthusiasts, the range, which is always evolving, is now bottled at 43% and 46%.