Drinks company Diageo will build the £40 million plant next to its maltings complex at Roseisle, between Elgin and Forres.
Recommending approval last week, Moray Council environmental services director Bob Stewart said the proximity of the two processes would reduce the need for heavy goods traffic.
He added: "There is no question that the proposed building will impact on the surrounding area by virtue of its overall size. Its design is utilitarian but contemporary and appropriate to its location beside the maltings."
As a condition of planning consent, a legal agreement will be drawn up between the council and Diageo to deal with concerns about traffic.
Council environmental services committee joint chairman Allan Wright described the distillery as one of the biggest and most exciting developments in the area in recent times. "I am delighted that Diageo has chosen Moray for this major investment," he said.
The distillery will employ around 25 staff and is due for completion in 2009. Diageo claims that it will be Scotland's most environmentally advanced facility of this kind, being both water and fossil fuel neutral.
Diageo Scotland managing director Bryan Donaghey said: "It is essential to the development of our business and has been made possible by the close, constructive relationship we have nurtured with the council, the wider local community and other key stakeholders."