Glen Scotia Distillery
Glen Scotia Distillery, which is situated in Campbeltown on the Kintyre Peninsular, was founded in 1832 by Stewart Galbraith & Company under the name of Scotia Distillery.
Prior to the passing of the Excise Act of 1823, which sanctioned the distilling of whisky in return for a license fee of £10.00 and a set payment per gallon of proof spirit, Campbeltown, due to the remoteness and the inaccessibility of the area was home to over 100 illicit stills.
Campbeltown was certainly one of the first centres of commercial distilling and had a reputation to rival Speyside. Between 1880 and the 1920s, there were thirty four working distilleries, producing some 2 million gallons of spirit per annum. Campbeltown vied with Elgin in Speyside as the whisky capital of Scotland.
Glen Scotia is one of the last three great Campbeltown survivors. The others are Springbank, and Glengyle Distillery which went back into production in January 2004.
The distillery is said to be haunted by the ghost of a previous owner, Duncan MacCallum who bought the distillery in 1924. He committed suicide in 1930 after losing a fortune in a crooked business deal. He drowned himself in Campbeltown Loch, later made famous in a popular song by Scots entertainer, Andy Stewart. The singer dreams that the loch is full of whisky, not water, and tries to drink it dry.
In 1928 the distillery was closed, as did so many of its neighbours, and later reopened in 1933. In 1954 the distillery was sold to Hiram Walker who sold it on to A. Gillies & Company who became part of Amalgamated Distilled Products Limited in 1970.
The distillery was again closed in 1984. In 1989 it was purchased by Gibson International who went into receivership in 1994 and production again ceased.
The current owners are the Loch Lomond Distillery Company who have since refitted and recommenced distilling.
Campbeltowns are traditionally full-flavoured and full-bodied whiskies, famous for their depth of flavour and for their slightly salty tang in the finish.
Current Owners Loch Lomond Distillery Co. Ltd.
Location Campbeltown, Argyll
Water Source The Kilbride Dam
Stills 1 x Wash stills & 1 x Spirit stills
Capacity per year 750,000 Litres alcohol
1832 Established by Stewart Galbraith & Co.
1919 Purchased by West Highland Malt Distilleries Ltd.
1924 Sold to Duncan MacCallum
1928 Closed until 1933
1954 Acquired by Hiram Walker.
1955 Sold to A Gillies & Company
1970 Became part of Amalgamated Distilled Products Ltd.
1989 Purchased by Gibson International.
1994 Acquired from receivership by Glen Catrine Co. Ltd.
The Glen Scotia Distillery in February 1992.
Bottled in Glasgow April 2016
Aged 24 years in Madeira Wood.
Un-chill filtered, no artificial colouring.
49.5% Alcohol by Volume.
The house style of Glen Scotia is a lightly smoky, salty malt however after further maturing in a Madeira hogshead there is a subtle difference between this expression and the Oloroso bottling. Perhaps a drier finish.
Where as with the Oloroso bottling one might detect dark chocolate and sultanas. When in fact with the Madeira version perhaps toffee and bubble gum is noticeable. Both expressions are quite complex and difficult to categorize. You can still detect the maritime influence coming through.