Campbeltown Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Campbeltown is a town on the Kintyre peninsula on the west of Scotland. It holds a unique position of being classed as it’s own region when in reality it is a town. It used to be one of the most prolific Scotch whisky producing regions in Scotland. At one point there were 34 distilleries in operation, thus the town could properly be called the “whisky capital of the world”. During the Great Depression in the US most of the distilleries went out of business. Now there remain only three working distilleries, which for a small town, is still a great achievement.The coastal location is reflected in the character of the Scotch whisky. They tend to be dry and pungent, with some peated editions produced.
Glen Scotia. This has changed hands a number of times over the years since it started operation in 1832. The latest time that production was re-started was in 2000. It produces some limited edition Scotch whiskies. The Scotch whisky which is produced are spicy types with a hint of sherry. The operation is quite small with only 2 people producing the whisky 3 months in the year.
Springbank. It is one of only two Scotch whisky producers in Scotland to do every step in producing the whisky. They grow their own barley, malt their own barley on the premises and bottle the whisky. Now it’s becoming rarer that distilleries will malt their own barley.
This distillery produces three single malts from Campbeltown – Longrow, Hazelburn and Springbank. To obtain the difference in the whiskies three stills are used in different combinations and the peat levels are adjusted. Longrow is distilled twice and has strong peat flavour. Hazelburn lacks the peaty flavour, but is distilled three times. Springbank is in the middle – there are peat overtones and it is distilled two and a half times.
Springbank produces whiskies in casks that were used for bourbon and sherry production. They are now experimenting with rum casks.
While mostly overlooked Campbeltown produces some excellent Scotch whisky – whiskies which have character and tastes not found in other single malts. If only for the fact that there was so many whiskies produced here in the past and the heritage is continuing, Campbeltown is due proper recognition as a Scotch whisky region in it’s own right.