With just three working distilleries, Campbeltown is Scotland’s smallest whisky-producing region. While some argue this doesn’t warrant it being designated a whisky region, its single malts boast unique characteristics that have a devoted following.
In its heyday, this small Kintyre harbor town was a prolific producer with more than 30 legal distilleries, earning it the moniker of ‘whisky capital of the world’ – later conferred on Dufftown in Speyside.
With ample pasture, peat bogs and coal mines, and many farms growing barley, Campbeltown distillers had all the resources they needed. It became a whisky boomtown in the 1800s, thanks largely to its bustling port.
It became a victim of its own popularity though: demand was so great that distilleries couldn’t keep up and ultimately the quality fell. When rival Speyside was connected to the newly built railways in the north, allowing superior quality spirit to reach the market more quickly, Campbelltown fell into further decline.
Nowadays, the remaining distilleries produce whisky with unusual characteristics. Although local sources are depleted, peat from Tomintoul in the Highlands ensures the single malts retain their smoky palate. The sea mists from the Mull of Kintyre provide a maritime flavor.
01 Glen Scotia Distillery
02 Glengyle/Kilkerran Distillery
03 Springbank Distillery