James Stuart, grain merchant in Rothes, licensee the owner of Macallan Distillery built Glen Spey. He sold it the year after he bought Macallan to W. & A. Gilbey, the London wine and spirits merchant, for £11,000. This was first time English Company had bought a Scotch whisky distillery. They went on to build Knockando Distillery in 1904. In 1962, W&A Gilbey and Company merged with United Wine Traders, the owners of Justerini & Brooks, who were responsible for the production of J&B Blended Whisky. In 1970, the number of stills were increased from two to four, bringing the distillery’s production capacity to its modern-day level. Under the merge, Glen Spey became a major part of the J&B Blend. Glen Spey survived a series of corporate mergers in the late twentieth century, finally resulting in Diageo obtaining the site. 2001 was an important year in the history of the distillery, bringing the first official bottling – a 12-year-old, released as part of Diageo’s Flora and Fauna range.
Glen Spey also has the distinction of being the only Rothes distillery to boast a ghost. The story of the ghost dates back to the Second World War, when a solider posted at the distillery was tragically electrocuted in an accident. It is said that his spirit still roams the site at night.