Glen Scotia distillery

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Glen Scotia distillery or sometimes affectionately known as The Scotia or Old Scotia is a distillery that is a producer of single malt Scotch whisky. The distillery was founded in 1832 and is one of just three distilleries left in Campbeltown, the smallest whisky region.[1]

Glen Scotia Distillery
Region: Campbeltown
OwnerLoch Lomond Group
Founded1832
StatusOperational
Water sourceCrosshill Loch
No. of stills1 wash (16,000 L),
1 spirit (12,000 L)[2]
Capacity600,000 litres
Glen Scotia
Age(s)Double Cask 46% ABV

15 Year Old 46% ABV

Victoriana 52.2% ABV

18 Year Old 46% ABV

25 Year Old 48.8%
Glen Scotia Victoriana Single Malt
Glen Scotia Victoriana Single Malt

History[edit]

Glen Scotia Distillery was founded in 1832, and has been operating for one hundred and eighty years. Situated in Campbeltown, one of the recognised 5 Whisky producing regions of Scotland,[3] the distillery has a formidable pedigree.[4]

Campbeltown is a small town on the Kintyre Peninsula on the west coast of Scotland. It is affectionately known as the “Wee Toon”, and the Victorian Whisky Capital of the World. At its peak in the 1800s, there were 21 distilleries in this small town with approximately 170 distilleries operating at that time in the UK (129 of those in Scotland) Campbeltown still has 3 operating distilleries: Glen Scotia, Springbank, and Glengyle. These distilleries give a remarkable insight into the history of making whisky in this remote, once prolific, whisky making region of Scotland.

Glen Scotia was formerly known as 'Scotia' when it was first founded in 1832 by Stewart & Galbraith and Company. Stewart & Galbraith Co. ran the Distillery for almost 60 years. Notable industrialist Duncan MacCallum purchased the distillery in 1891 and he constructed the large frontage (Malting Floors) which run along High Street.

The distillery was acquired from the trustees of the late Duncan McCallum by the Bloch Brothers in 1933. Production was suspended in 1942 on account of the Second World War but was restarted early in 1945.[5]

Bloch Brothers was acquired by Hiram Walker and Sons of Dumbarton in 1954.[6] In 1955 A. Gilles took ownership and in 1970 this merged with three other companies into Amalgamated Distilled Products (ADP).[7] In 1987, Ian Lockwood, former group marketing director of Amalgamated Distilled Product led a management buyout of part of the business and the sale included the Glen Scotia Distillery, which operated as Gibson International.[8]

In 2014, the distillery was bought by Loch Lomond Group who have invested heavily in the site by developing the brand, increasing capacity, opening warehouses and developing a distillery visitor centre.

Today, the distillery still maintains much of its original design, including the mash tun, the stillroom and the dunnage warehouse which dates back to the 1830s. Glen Scotia distillery currently operates with a staff of just 8 employees: one distillery manager, assistant distillery manager, visitor centre manager and five distillery operators. The visitor centre is open to the public and runs daily distillery tours and tastings, with a Victorian style shop to purchase the whisky, branded merchandise and other goods.

Product Range[edit]

The Glen Scotia range has been simplified down to five core Single Malt expressions:

  • Double Cask - 46% ABV
  • 15 Year Old - 46% ABV
  • Victoriana - 54.2% ABV
  • 18 Year Old - 46% ABV
  • 25 Year Old - 48.8% ABV

Glen Scotia's range showcases the typical Campbeltown flavour profile of toffee, maritime influence and a hint of smoke.

Glen Scotia Pot Still 2017
Glen Scotia Pot Still 2017
Iain Mcalister Glen Scotia's Master Distiller
Iain Mcalister Glen Scotia's Master Distiller

Each of the core expressions have been designed to keep to an authentic 'Campbeltown Malt style' culminating in the Victoriana where the distillery has aimed to re-create a modern interpretation of classic Victorian Campbeltown Malt. Glen Scotia Distillery also regularly produces 'special' bottlings to celebrate local events, such as the centenary anniversary of the local Campbeltown Picture House.

Each year, for the annual Campbeltown Malt Whisky Festival, Glen Scotia release a special limited release bottling. In 2019 this was a 15-year-old rum finish and 2020 a 14-year-old Tawny Port finish.

Additionally, special releases and other small production run bottlings also exist.

Production[edit]

The distillery draws its water from Crosshill Loch in Campbeltown.

The distillery uses unpeated, medium peated and heavily peated malt barley for its whisky

Glen Scotia has one wash still, with a capacity of 12,000 litres, and one spirit still with a 7,000-litre capacity. The pot stills are onion-shaped, with wide and short necks.

There are 9 washbacks within the distillery, these are all stainless steel.  The washbacks that Glen Scotia originally had were more than 40 years old and were made out of COR-TEN Steel.

The current annual production levels stand at around 500,000 litres.

Awards[edit]

Glen Scotia’s whiskies have been recognised in many renowned award ceremonies, such as San Francisco World Spirits Awards, International Wine & Spirits Competition, World Whisky Awards, International Spirits Challenge & The Scotch Whisky Masters.

Awards Received
Double Cask Gold Medal - San Francisco World Spirit Awards 2020 Best Campbeltown Malt - World Whisky Awards 2020 Gold Medal - Scotch Whisky Masters 2020
15 Year Old Gold Medal - Scotch Whisky Masters 2020 Double Gold Medal - San Francisco World Spirit Awards 2016 Gold Medal - International Spirits Challenge 2020
Victoriana Gold Medal - Scotch Whisky Masters 2020 Gold Medal - San Francisco World Spirit Awards 2020 Gold Medal - International Spirits Challenge 2020
18 Year Old Gold Medal - San Francisco World Spirit Awards 2020 Double Gold Medal - San Francisco World Spirit Awards 2016 Gold Medal - Scotch Whisky Masters 2020
25 Year Old Platinum Medal - San Francisco World Spirit Awards 2020 Gold Medal - International Spirits Challenge 2020 Best Campbeltown Malt - World Whisky Awards 2019

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Brander 1996, p. 83.
  2. ^ Glen Scotia distillery on Whisky.com
  3. ^ "Scotch Whisky Association - Whisky Regions of Scotland". Scotch Whisky Association Website. Archived from the original on 26 July 2018. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  4. ^ "Loch Lomond Group Website". Loch Lomond Group Website. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  5. ^ "News in Brief". Dundee Courier. Scotland. 6 January 1945. Retrieved 15 October 2021 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  6. ^ "Whisky Firm takes over Bloch Bros". Dundee Courier. Scotland. 18 October 1954. Retrieved 15 October 2021 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  7. ^ "New Whisky Quote Sought". Aberdeen Press and Journal. Scotland. 30 November 1970. Retrieved 15 October 2021 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  8. ^ "New Shares Record". Dundee Courier. Scotland. 9 January 1987. Retrieved 15 October 2021 – via British Newspaper Archive.

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°25′46.25″N 05°36′15.25″W / 55.4295139°N 5.6042361°W / 55.4295139; -5.6042361