Michael Russell MSP visited Glen Scotia Distillery as part of a new campaign to position Campbeltown as the “whiskiest place in the world.”
The Argyll & Bute member was presented with a unique bottling as the distillery prepared for the annual Campbeltown Malts Festival, which gets underway tomorrow [Tuesday 21 May].
During the visit the MSP, who is also Cabinet Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, had an opportunity to see some of the oldest parts of the distillery, which date back to the 1830s and to meet some of its staff.
He also bottled his own whisky, choosing an 18 Year Old Single Malt from Cask 560, a first fill ex-bourbon cask stored in Glen Scotia’s historic dunnage warehouse.
The one-off bottle is dedicated to the MSP and his visit to Glen Scotia, with Campbeltown described on the label as “the whiskiest place in the world” in honour of the region’s illustrious past. In the Victorian era Campbeltown was home to more than 30 distilleries and known as ‘whisky capital of the world’.
Iain McAlister, distillery manager, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Michael Russell MSP to our distillery. We’re very proud of our exceptional single malts and their contribution to both Campbeltown and Scotland’s world-leading whisky industry. Research suggests that Campeltown was the predominant Scotch whisky for almost 100 years.
“Whisky is in our DNA in Campbeltown. After being at the forefront of production distilling has become a way of life here and we’re looking forward to sharing our passion for whisky with visitors to this year’s malts festival.”
Michael Russell MSP, said: “It was great to meet the team at Glen Scotia Distillery and learn more about their award-winning single malts.
“It’s very encouraging to see how Glen Scotia is helping to attract visitors to the Campbeltown and boost recognition of its role in Scotch. I wish it well with its new campaign.”
The 57.4% ABV Scotch gifted to the MSP is among several whiskies due to be sampled straight from the cask by visitors taking part in Glen Scotia’s dunnage tastings during the Campbeltown Malts Festival.
The festival, which runs from 21-23 May showcases the region’s distinctive single malts.
As part of the event, Glen Scotia is set to host two sold-out whisky dinners, a distillery open day, tours and a variety of tastings. New to its programme this year is the Glen Scotia Coastal Connection Tasting session with Master Blender Michael Henry, who will explore Campbeltown’s history, explaining how it has shaped and influenced the town’s whisky heritage to this day.
To find our more visit www.glenscotia.com
Gordon & MacPhail has unveiled images of the new distillery the company hopes to build in the Cairngorm National Park in Scotland.
The distillery, which would be built at Craggan near Grantown-on-Spey, has been designed to take advantage of stunning views across the River Spey to the Cairngorm mountains.
The circular design of the building would disguise much of the day to day working of the distillery within the service yard. Sedum roofs will help the buildings blend into the surrounding environment when viewed from higher ground.
More than 150 people visited the exhibition and viewed the plans, which included computer generated images of the distillery and associated buildings.
The family owned firm, who also own Benromach Distillery at Forres, announced last year that it hopes to build a second distillery at Craggan. The production rate will start at 375,000 litres per year, although the distillery will be capable of producing 2 million litres of alcohol in the longer term.
Response locally to the plans has been overwhelmingly positive. Ewen Mackintosh, Gordon & MacPhail’s managing director, said they had been delighted at the response at an event held as part of the planning process. “We’re really pleased at the number of people who came along to see our plans, we couldn’t have asked for a warmer welcome. People are saying how excited they are to see a distillery being proposed for the area as they believe it has the potential to support Grantown-on-Spey as a destination and encourage visitors to stay longer in the town.”
Gordon & MacPhail has been working closely with architects NORR to create the designs for the distillery, the first new build Scotch malt whisky distillery to be built in the Cairngorm National Park.
Members of the fourth generation of the Urquhart family, owners of Gordon & MacPhail, were at the exhibition to hear the views of the local community and emphasise the company’s commitment to the area.
As Stuart Urquhart, Gordon & MacPhail Operations Director, explained: “We are a longstanding family-owned business with strong roots and commitment to the north of Scotland. Building and operating our second distillery is part of our generational plan to grow a long-term sustainable business, whilst continuing to be part of the fabric of the local community.”
Gordon & MacPhail is a family owned business which has built its knowledge and experience of the Scotch whisky industry over a 120-year history. In 1993, the Urquhart family realised a long-held ambition when they acquired Benromach Distillery and reopened it after extensive refurbishment in 1998.
A member of the world famous Malt Whisky Trail, Benromach Distillery attracts around 15,000 visitors to the area every year, a figure they aim to increase further with the opening of their Red Door Gin visitor experience this year.
Loch Lomond Group has launched the Littlemill 40 Year Old Celestial Edition (46.8% ABV) in the UK, the oldest expression ever to be released from the now lost Littlemill distillery.
The precious liquid, distilled by what is rumoured to be one of the world’s oldest distilleries, is available now priced at £6,000. Only 250 bottles will be produced in total, making this a much sought-after collector’s item.
Littlemill 40 Year Old Celestial Edition celebrates the life’s work of Littlemill owner Duncan Thomas. The spirit represents the culmination of his knowledge and experience and captures the spirit of his pioneering distilling process.
The stunning presentation box captures an exact map of the night sky seen above Littlemill Distillery on the evening that the liquid was barrelled. Inside, the hand-faceted Glencairn Crystal decanter, each engraved with its unique bottle number, is finished with a solid brass stopper made in Glasgow. Each box also contains a 5cl vial of the 40 Year Old liquid, for those who would like to sample the whisky while keeping the bottle intact.
Duncan Thomas was a true pioneer of Scotch Whisky, pushing boundaries and introducing innovation that would long outlive him. One of his more lasting legacies was the introduction of the straight necked pot still with rectifying heads, that made it possible to create variations on each spirit he produced, allowing him to retain control of the character of the final liquid. This philosophy was embraced by Japanese distilleries in the East, and to mark this, the 40 Year Old box shows the star chart on the night that the spirit was laid to rest, charting the two paths of Duncan Thomas and Japanese Whisky experimentation.
Michael Henry, Master Blender at Loch Lomond Group, said: “The Littlemill 40 year old Celestial Edition is a fitting way to celebrate the legacy left by Duncan Thomas, and the truly exceptional liquid is worthy of his name.”
Rumoured to be one of the oldest in Scotland, and possibly even the world, the Littlemill distillery has a long and fascinating history. Officially established and producing whisky legally from 1772 in Bowling on the banks of the River Clyde near Glasgow, the distillery fell silent in 1994 and was subsequently destroyed by fire in 2004, never to produce a drop again.
Littlemill’s rich history includes a number of owners over its lifetime and it was notably one of the first distilleries to have a female licensee, Jane MacGregor, in 1823. In the 1930s, the distillery was known for triple distillation before moving to the more traditional double distillation now associated with Scotch whisky.
In 1931, under the stewardship of the American Duncan Thomas, Littlemill was at the forefront of still innovation with technical designs that could create three styles of single malts from full-bodied to light. These innovative stills provided the inspiration for the Loch Lomond Distillery, which was opened in the 1960s.
Rare amongst the Lowland malts in using a Highland water source, as well as peat from Stornoway and Perthshire, Littlemill whiskies are renowned for a subtly floral, vanilla-rich sweetness.
Littlemill 40 Year Old Celestial Edition is available to buy from specialists whisky stockists.
For further information visit www.lochlomondgroup.com
Littlemill 40 Year Old Celestial Edition Tasting Notes
Issued by Big Partnership on behalf of The Loch Lomond Group.
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