Glen Scotia Whisky

Until recently, Glen Scotia Distillery was a sleeping beauty. The kiss that woke her up in 2014 came from the current owner in the form of substantial investment. Campbeltown was once known as ‘the distilling capital of Scotland’ – when Alfred Barnard visited in the 1880s there were 21 operating distilleries there – but, by 1930, only three remained, Springbank, Scotia and Rieclachan (the last closed in 1935). The two survivors were joined by Glengyle in 2004.

During its long life – Scotia was established in 1832 and became ‘Glen’ Scotia in 1934/35 – the distillery passed through many owners, one of whom drowned himself in Campbeltown Loch in December 1930, despairing of the Great Depression. Duncan MacCallum was the leading Campbeltown distiller of his day and aged 83; in his book The Distilleries of Campbeltown, David Stirk describes the sad event as marking “the nadir of Campbeltown distilling”. MacCallum’s ghost was once reputed to haunt his distillery.

Production at Glen Scotia was sporadic during the post-war decades, with periods of closure and part-time operation, but in March 2014 the distillery was bought by a team of experienced distillers, backed by a leading private equity company, trading as the Loch Lomond Group Ltd.