Whisky Month, a region at a time, Campbeltown

With the start of the virtual Campbeltown Whisky Festival we are dedicating this week to the distilleries on the beautiful, remote Kintyre peninsula.

Made famous a long time before Mull of Kintrye by Paul McCartney, this whisky region seems to inspire music and song (more of that in the next Islay Feis Ile blog!).  The Scottish folk classic “Campbeltown Loch, I wish you were whisky” reminds us of the prolific centre of distillation on this promontory of land in the 1800s and early 1900s.  Reduced from 34 distilleries in its Victorian heyday to three now, the region’s turbulent history owes much to the boom of steam travel and transport followed by the bust of Prohibition and the Great Depression.  Once known as the whisky capital of the world now it is certainly more of a hidden gem to be discovered, so let’s do just that!

Campbeltown Loch and harbour. Credit Glen Scotia distillery

The Campbeltown Distilleries

Glen Scotia       

Pronounce         Glen Sko-shaa

Meaning             Glen of the Scots

Fact                     Shares its Cambeltown home with Scotland’s oldest purpose-built cinema

Springbank / Longrow / Hazelburn

Pronounce         Spring -Bank

Meaning             Refers to the spring water used to produce the whisky in the surrounding hills

Fact                     One distillery produces three different styles of single malt, by modifying the simple ingredients of peated or unpeated malted barley, yeast strains and how the pot stills are run.                                                                       

Glengyle / Kilkerran

Pronounce         Glen G-eye-l

Meaning             Kilerran – Saint Kerran head of the loch

Fact                     The malted barley is supplied from its neigbour and sister distillery Springbank

When to visit Campbeltown  

Enjoy the Mull of Kintyre any time from March through to October for long days, light evenings, and plenty to discover.  If you fancy a cosy winter getaway then this secluded peninsula is perfect in the winter months – dark skies perfect for star gazing and

Typical Campbeltown characteristics

Campbeltown whiskies have a range of flavours – for only three distilleries there are a whole host of characteristics in the different expressions. From soft oak vanilla through to coastal spray, fruity cask finishes and some peated expressions there is a gem for everyone to discover!


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