When whisky drinkers come to Scotland to look for the best whisky distilleries in the country, Campbeltown sits on top of the list. Campbeltown whisky is extremely famous, and the town attracts thousands of tourists every year thanks to its unique single malt whiskies and distilleries. It was known as the whisky capital of the world and once had over 30 whisky distilleries, which have sadly dwindled over the years.
Nevertheless, Campbeltown still stands as one of the milestones that any whisky lover should stop by while in Scotland. This thriving malt whisky region is home to exceptional single-malt whisky and is also incredibly close to Northern Ireland and Glasgow.
Here are the top Campbeltown whisky distilleries you should be adding to your to-do list.
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Glen Scotia Distillery
Glen Scotia stands as the prevailing spirit of Campbeltown whisky and is one of the remaining distilleries that pay homage to Campbeltown’s illustrious past. Acting as the ideal first distillery for new whisky lovers, you should pay a visit when you want to try traditional Campbeltown whisky – with options for distillery tours, whisky tastings, and a distillery shop where you can buy Scotch whisky souvenirs.
This reputable distillery company has an outstanding selection of single malts to choose from, more than we can even list here, but rest assured that their collection is well worth trying. If you’re overwhelmed about which bottle of exquisite whisky you should try while visiting Glen Scotia, you can always opt for their miniature whisky-tasting gift set for you or a friend.
Glen Scotia is set properly in the heart of Campbeltown on High Street.
Cadenhead’s Whisky Shop
Next to the prominent Springbank Distillery (which we’ll cover next), Cadenhead’s Whisky Shop in Campbeltown is your one-stop shop for whiskies, rums, cognac, and gins. Their bottling archive has many of the latest and most fantastic bottles of whisky from all over Scotland or whatever spirits you’re in the mood for at any time.
If you recognise the name, Cadenhead, it may be because you’ve seen their shops in Edinburgh and Aberdeen too! But the whisky shop in Campbeltown is the original and holds a fascinating history for those who want to learn more.
If you want to try the many flavours of single malt whiskies available in this whisky region and beyond, pop by Cadenhead’s Whisky Shop on Union Street.
Springbank Distillery is one of the most famous distilleries in Campbeltown, boasting over five generations that have been creating premium whisky. Its whisky is genuinely one of a kind, with skilled hands guiding an intricate process at each step of the way to produce something extraordinary.
Springbank Distillery produces an exquisite range of whisky, using lightly peated barley and a unique distillation process that produces a full-bodied whisky that has flavours of orange zest, heather and honey, and vanilla notes. The palate and finish offer a sweet, salty and oily character that goes down exceptionally smoothly.
There are a lot of matured whiskies to keep an eye out for when visiting Springbank, so don’t pass up the opportunity to try the Springbank malts while you’re in town.
The Machrihanish Distillery
If you’re planning to visit Campbeltown shortly, The Machrihanish Distillery is a contemporary whisky distillery that is on the horizon and will soon be the very first farm distillery to grace Campbeltown in over 180 years!
So, when Machrihanish opens soon, you can purchase a high-quality bottle of whisky that uses ingredients cultivated and grown on the farm plot this distillery will sit on. Best of all, these distinct whiskies will be made with net zero production to continue the trend of sustainable production in the whisky industry.
While Machrihanish is not open to the public at the writing of this article, it promises to be one of the best Campbeltown distilleries the region has seen for quite some time.
Take a trip from the town of Campbeltown over the Kintyre Peninsula to the Isle of Arran, and you’ll be able to visit the stunning Lagg Distillery. Years and years ago, illicit spirits were produced in Lagg on the Isle of Arran and then smuggled to Mainland Scotland – today’s Lagg Distillery continues this tradition (legally, of course).
You can see the whisky production in action when you visit Lagg, with options for an entire distillery tour and whisky tasting as well. On this tour, expect guides to show off their beautiful copper stills and the many bourbon barrels and whisky casks that adorn the distillery’s walls. These highly affordable tours grant visitors unparalleled knowledge of the distillation process.
Although it’s not Campbeltown whisky, taking a boat to the Lagg Distillery across the way is an excellent capstone to your Argyll and Bute whisky tour.
Heading back to Campbeltown, Watt Whisky has been producing and exporting quality whisky from Campbeltown whisky distilleries since 2019! They also make their range of hearty and delicious whisky, Watt Whisky, where they prioritise taste and flavour above all.
From blended to single malt whiskies, Watt Whisky’s diverse selection will leave you spoilt for choice on which whisky you should try first. Boasting intense and delicious flavours of butterscotch, citrus, fruit, and spice, there’s no whisky in their range that doesn’t have a recommendation from blenders from all over Scotland.
And if the thought of excellently distilled whisky sounds good to you, then why not partake in one of Watt Whisky’s tasting events, which features their range as well as the other whisky Campbeltown is known for? This producer of excellent whisky can be found in the heart of Campbeltown, but you can buy their whisky at Hall’s of Campbeltown, the Ardhsiel Hotel, the Commercial Inn, and more locations.
Home of the famous Kikerran single malt whisky, Glengyle Distillery has been in Campbeltown since 2004, but this distillery’s history goes back to 1872! And Glengyle Distiller is entirely produced in Campbeltown, continuing the illustrious history of Campbeltown whisky.
But if you want a closer look at what Glenglye has to offer whisky lovers and how exactly their excellent spirits are made, then look at the tours and tasting that you can book during your next visit. You’ll not only be able to learn about the intricacies of how this genuinely Campbeltown whisky is made, from the peat to the double cask but also get a wee dram of the smoky and smooth taste of their whisky.
Glengyle’s history goes back for centuries and has roots in the golden age of Campbeltown whisky, which undeniably makes it one of the most important stops along your whisky tour in town.