The Final Information To Campbeltown Distilleries

Campbeltown is situated on the southern finish of the Kintyre Peninsula.

Campbeltown was as soon as thought of the whisky capital of the world. At its peak, over 25 distilleries operated within the small, coastal city on the Kintyre Peninsula, with the realm changing into a hub of distilling exercise. Alfred Barnard’s keep in “Whisky Metropolis” throughout his 1885 tour of the distilleries within the UK, lasted two weeks. He visited every of the 21 distilleries that known as Campbeltown residence, swept up within the hustle and bustle of a neighborhood centered on distilling. 

Quick ahead virtually 140 years, and there are solely three energetic distilleries left in Campbeltown: Springbank, Glengyle, and Glen Scotia. Mixed, they’ve a complete output of round 2.25 million litres each year, retaining the business alive within the small city, with a inhabitants of simply 4,500 folks. Nevertheless, it’s tough to not discover the conspicuous absence of the distilleries that after labored in Campbeltown. 

This final information to Campbeltown distilleries reveals how three lone producers are retaining the city’s whisky tradition alive…and even inspiring the constructing of latest Campbeltown distilleries. 

Learn the primary installment on this collection, The Final Information To Islay Distilleries here.

Campbeltown Distilleries Map

Use this useful map to see the places of every distillery inside Campbeltown.

Based: 1828
Proprietor: J&A Mitchell & Firm
Capability: 0.75 MLPA
Public sale Report: Springbank 1919 50 Year Old – £266,200, October 2019
Highest-rated WhiskyFun Bottle: Springbank 12 Year Old 100 Proof Samaroli – 98 points

Springbank is the longest-standing distillery in Campbeltown, having been based in 1828 by William Reid. The distillery was bought in 1837 to Reid’s in-laws, John and William Mitchell. Springbank has remained within the household ever since. 

In 1872, William Mitchell left Springbank to embark on one other enterprise at Riechlachan. Because of this, John Mitchell was joined by his son Alexander. Subsequently, J&A Mitchell was based in 1897. 

The early twentieth century introduced strife and a number of distillery closures to Campbeltown. Springbank struggled to outlive throughout this era and was closed in 1926. Many thought the distillery was gone for good. 

Nevertheless, in 1933, Springbank resumed manufacturing as certainly one of solely three distilleries left in Campbeltown. Having survived the extraordinary downturn of the business within the area, Springbank was confronted with an unsure future. 

The Springbank maltings have been closed in 1960, and Glengyle closed across the identical time. This left solely Springbank and Glen Scotia in Campbeltown. Springbank should have been faring properly, although, as in 1969, J&A Mitchell bought Cadenhead, the unbiased bottling agency. 

After a couple of years of secure manufacturing, the whisky business was dealt one other blow: the Whisky Loch. Within the Eighties the business noticed an enormous downturn, and the overproduction of the earlier a long time precipitated a surplus in inventory. Because of this, there have been mass distillery closures. Springbank was mothballed in 1979. As soon as once more, it regarded like Springbank was gone for good. 

Nevertheless, the distillery started restricted manufacturing as soon as once more in 1987 and reopened its maltings in 1992. Within the ensuing years, Springbank started manufacturing of two different expressions: Longrow and Hazelburn, in tribute to 2 different fallen Campbeltown distilleries. 

Regardless of its rocky historical past, Springbank is extraordinarily well-established and profitable within the whisky business. Bolstered by high-age assertion releases such because the 1919 50 12 months Outdated, the distillery is without doubt one of the most well-known in Scotland. As well as, it’s definitely essentially the most well-known in Campbeltown.

Shop Springbank

Springbank has launched some iconic whiskies over its lifetime, and their profile has been supported by numerous unbiased releases. For instance, the Springbank 1966 Local Barleys have lengthy been lauded as a few of the greatest Springbank whiskies ever produced. We even have an SMWS 27.25 on the market; a 1965 Springbank that has by no means been bought at public sale within the UK. 

Browse the total assortment of Springbank bottles here.

Based: 1872
Proprietor: J&A Mitchell & Firm
Capability: 0.75 MLPA
Public sale Report: dinner-2019/”>Kilkerran 15 12 months Outdated for Glengyle Distillery Dinner 2019 – £1,000
Highest-rated WhiskyFun Bottle: N/A

Glengyle is without doubt one of the lesser-known distilleries in Campbeltown, regardless of there being solely three. This isn’t to undermine the standard of the whisky produced at Glengyle, however is extra a commentary on the distillery’s extraordinarily lengthy interval of closure, between 1925 and 2004. 

Glengyle Distillery was opened in 1872 by William Mitchell. He was the son of Archibald Mitchell, who had three brothers: John, William, and Hugh. John and William Mitchell had based Springbank in 1828. The positioning of Glengyle was immediately subsequent to Springbank and Riechlachan, one other household enterprise. 

William Mitchell bought Glengyle in 1919 to West Highland Malt Distillers. The corporate was a bunch of six Campbeltown distilleries that hoped to pool sources, share inventory, and decrease operating prices. Nevertheless, this partnership was short-lived, and in 1925 Glengyle was closed together with many different distilleries within the area. 

Over the continuing a long time, the little Glengyle inventory that remained was handed from firm to firm. There have been plans to reopen, most notably by the Bloch Brothers in 1941. Nevertheless, this by no means got here to fruition. 

It was not till the 12 months 2000 when J&A Mitchell, house owners of Springbank and descendants of the Mitchell household, reignited hope that Glengyle would distill once more. The corporate bought and refurbished the positioning, upgrading the distillery services. In 2004, for the primary time in virtually 80 years, spirit ran from the stills at Glengyle. 

Since its revival, Glengyle has been slowly however absolutely releasing age-statement whiskies onto the market below the model title Kilkerran. In line with the Glengyle Distillery website, the explanation for the title selection is as follows: 

“Kilkerran is the title that was chosen for the only malt produced at Mitchell’s Glengyle Distillery, there are two causes for this. Firstly, as a result of the title Glengyle is already used for a blended Highland malt and Mitchell’s Glengyle Ltd weren’t in a position to buy the rights to make use of that title. In addition they wished to keep away from any doable confusion between the latest single malt to come back from the Campbeltown area and a pre-existing blended Highland malt.

Secondly, and extra importantly, Mitchell’s Glengyle Ltd are very proud to be persevering with and including to the nice Campbeltown Distilling custom and the selection of title displays that. Kilkerran is derived from the Gaelic ‘Ceann Loch Cille Chiarain’ which is the title of the unique settlement the place Saint Kerran had his spiritual cell and the place Campbeltown now stands. Kilkerran is considered an appropriate title for a brand new Campbeltown malt because it was uncommon for the previous Campbeltown distilleries to be known as after a Glen, a customized extra normally related to the Speyside area.”

In recent times, the distillery has launched a Kilkerran 12 12 months Outdated, a 16 12 months Outdated, and an 8 12 months Outdated Cask Power. We hope that there are thrilling issues to come back from Glengyle, now that’s has made its miraculous return from Campbeltown’s distillery graveyard. 

Based: 1832
Proprietor: Loch Lomond Group
Capability: 0.75 MLPA
Public sale Report: Glen Scotia 1973 49 Year Old Alice Angus – £33,750, October 2023
Highest-rated WhiskyFun Bottle: Glen Scotia 1972 Malts of Scotland #1926 – 91 points

Glen Scotia, very similar to its neighbouring Campbeltown distilleries, has had a chequered historical past. It was first opened in 1832 by Stewart, Galbraith & Co. below the title Scotia. Then, in 1919, it turned one of many founding distilleries of West Highland Malt Distillers together with different distilleries together with Dalintober, Ardlussa, Glen Nevis, and Kinloch. Glengyle, as famous above, additionally turned part of this enterprise. This plan notoriously failed, and all the distillers that fashioned West Highland Malt Distillers had closed by 1930. 

Glen Scotia was the final to fall. Then-owner Duncan MacCallum, was compelled to shut the distillery in 1928. He briefly reopened Glen Scotia in 1930. Nevertheless, later that 12 months, he drowned himself in Campbeltown Loch, apparently having misplaced his life financial savings in a enterprise deal that turned out to be a rip-off. Some say that MacCallum’s ghost nonetheless haunts Glen Scotia immediately. 

Following this tragic flip of occasions, the distillery was bought to the Bloch Brothers. It was they who added the ‘Glen’ prefix to the title of the distillery. Over the continuing 4 a long time, the distillery was bought a number of instances and ultimately ended up within the fingers of Loch Lomond Distillers in 1999. This was following two durations of mothballing within the Eighties and 90s. 

Glen Scotia has, fortunately, seen a interval of calm in latest a long time, and has launched a variety of core bottlings together with 10, 12, 16, 18, and 21 12 months previous expressions. This constitutes maybe the primary secure interval within the distillery’s historical past. After a very long time sporadically contributing to blends (and releasing the very occasional single malt) Glen Scotia lastly has room to develop.

Shop Glen Scotia 

Single malts from Glen Scotia are very uncommon and tough to accumulate. We’ve simply three bottles of Glen Scotia out there on the store, together with this gorgeous Glen Scotia 1973, bottled in 1999 simply after the distillery was bought by Loch Lomond Distillers, and its new lease of life started. 

Browse the total Glen Scotia assortment here

Campbeltown’s Misplaced Distilleries 

Campbeltown has, maybe, the best focus of misplaced distilleries in Scotland. What was as soon as a bustling city sustained on its whisky business now has solely three distilleries to talk of. Should you go to Campbeltown, you’ll discover the remnants of distilleries previous. 

It’s unlikely that any extra Campbeltown distilleries will probably be resurrected, as many of the buildings have been repurposed (Benmore, for instance, is now a bus depot). Nevertheless, there may be each likelihood that we are going to see new Campbeltown distilleries spring up within the coming years. In reality, in 2023 we obtained affirmation of two new Campbeltown distilleries which are on the way in which. 


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