Glen Scotia Distillery Logo

Glen Scotia Distillery

  • Scotland
  • Scottish Whisky Distillery of the Year (2021), Best in Show at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition (2021), World’s Best Single Cask Single Malt, Best Scotch Whisky (2022)
Phone Number
  • +441586552288
  • 12 High St, Campbeltown PA28 6DS, United Kingdom

Glen Scotia Distillery exterior with whiskey barrels.

History of Glen Scotia Distillery

The Glen Scotia Distillery, located in Campbeltown, boasts a rich history and a reputation for producing exceptional single malt Scotch whiskies.

Founded in 1832 as Scotia Distillery, it was one of nearly 30 distilleries in Campbeltown, then known as the ‘Whisky Capital of the World’. Despite the decline of distilleries in the area, Glen Scotia has endured, now one of only three remaining in Campbeltown.

The distillery has preserved many of its original 1830s features, including the mash tun, stillroom, and dunnage warehouse, contributing to its award-winning whiskies.

Glen Scotia produces two styles of whisky – peated and non-peated, with the peated variety typically made over a six-week period annually. Their production process, while modernized, stays true to traditional methods, ensuring the distinct Campbeltown whisky character.

Iain McAlister, a former engineer and Campbeltown native, has been the distillery manager and master distiller for twelve years. He plays a crucial role in maintaining the quality of Glen Scotia whiskies, combining his engineering background with traditional craftsmanship.

His favorite dram is the Glen Scotia Double Cask, a testament to the distillery’s commitment to quality and heritage.

Whiskey Making Process

The whisky making process at Glen Scotia Distillery, known for its small batch processing, begins with malted barley sourced from the east of Scotland. This process involves several key steps:

  • Mashing: The malted barley is first placed in the Mash Tun. Here, two consecutive waters are added over a period of 8 hours, the first at 66 degrees and the second at 72 degrees.
  • Fermentation: The resulting liquid, called Wort, is then transferred to the Washbacks at 22 degrees, where yeast is added. The Wort remains in the Washbacks for over 70 hours.
  • Distillation: The Wort then undergoes initial distillation in the Wash Still for about 9 hours, resulting in a liquid with around 20% ABV. The second distillation occurs in the Spirits Still, starting with the removal of foreshorts at 74% ABV and continuing until the spirit reaches 63% ABV. The average spirit strength at this point is 69% ABV.
  • Casking and Maturation: After distillation, a little water is added to bring the whisky to 63.5% ABV before it enters the casks. These casks are then stored in the Dunnage warehouse, where they age, influenced by the wood and the unique Campbeltown weather.



Awards Won by Glen Scotia Distillery

  • Scottish Whisky Distillery of the Year (2021): Glen Scotia was recognized as the Scottish Whisky Distillery of the Year at the Scottish Whisky Awards in 2021​​​​​​.
  • Best in Show at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition (2021): Their 25-Year-Old expression won the ‘Best in Show’ at the 2021 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, also regarded as the Best Whisky In The World for that year​​​​​​.
  • World’s Best Single Cask Single Malt: Glen Scotia was awarded this title at the annual World Whiskies Awards. The year of this award isn’t specified, but it indicates ongoing industry recognition for their craftsmanship​​.
  • Best Scotch Whisky (2022): Their Victoriana expression was named Best Scotch Whisky at the Online Scotch Whisky Awards in 2022​​.
  • Best No Age Statement Whisky (2022): At the World Spirits Competition, Glen Scotia Victoriana also earned the title of Best No Age Statement Whisky in 2022​​.

Glen Scotia Distillery Tour Information and Experience

Visiting Glen Scotia Distillery offers a comprehensive and immersive experience into the world of whisky making. Here’s an overview of what visitors can expect:

Distillery Tours

  • Whisky Distillery Tour: Lasting 1 hour and costing £10 per person, this tour is available Monday to Friday at 11 am or 2 pm. It offers an insight into Glen Scotia’s history and the whisky-making process, concluding with a complimentary dram of their Double Cask single malt.
  • Dunnage Warehouse Experience: A 2-hour tour priced at £55 per person, available from April to October, Tuesday to Friday. It includes a guided tour of the production facility and a five dram cask strength whisky tasting in the traditional Dunnage Warehouse.
  • Distillery Manager Tour: For £100 per person, join Distillery Manager Iain McAlister for a 2.5-hour in-depth tour, including sampling five whiskies straight from hand-selected casks.

Whisky Tastings

  • Core Range Tasting: A 45-minute to 1-hour session for £25 per person, offering a taste of 4 core range whiskies.
  • Limited Editions Tasting: Priced at £30 per person, this tasting includes four cask strength drams of limited release whiskies.
  • Warehouse Selection: For £40 per person, enjoy a 1-hour tasting of five drams from hand-selected sample casks.
  • Premium Tasting: At £50 per person, this tasting includes three heavily aged whiskies, showcasing Glen Scotia’s finest.

Planning Your Visit

  • Opening Times: The distillery is open Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, with the latest time for shop tastings at 3 pm.
  • Accessibility: Glen Scotia is committed to ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable visit for all guests.

Distillery Shop

  • The on-site shop at the visitor center sells whisky, branded merchandise, and locally crafted products. It’s a perfect place to relax, learn about Glen Scotia’s history, and enjoy a range of their finest whiskies.

Flask & Barrel Review of Glen Scotia Distillery

As someone who’s been around the block with distillery tours, I’ve got to say, Glen Scotia really stands out. Visiting there was a real treat – a solid 4.7 out of 5 in my book. From the get-go, the vibe was welcoming and the staff knew their stuff. They weren’t just reciting facts; it felt like they were sharing a piece of their passion.

The tour itself was top-notch. I’ve seen my fair share of stills and barrels, but Glen Scotia’s setup has this unique charm. It’s like they’ve bottled the essence of Campbeltown in every corner. And the tasting session? Absolutely stellar.

Each dram was a journey through rich flavors and history – especially that 25-Year-Old expression that snagged the ‘Best in Show’ in San Francisco. It’s clear why they’re bagging awards left and right.

If I had to nitpick, the only thing that held back a perfect score was the size of the tasting pours – a wee bit more generous and I would’ve been over the moon. But hey, quality over quantity, right?

To sum it up, whether you’re a seasoned whiskey enthusiast or just starting out, Glen Scotia is a must-visit. Their craftsmanship, attention to detail, and that undeniable Campbeltown character make it a standout experience. Can’t wait to see what they come up with next!

What To Do Nearby Glen Scotia Distillery

  • Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club (8.05 km away): For the golfers out there, this is a seaside course that’s not too crowded. Perfect for a relaxed game with good service. Address: The Village at Machrihanish Dunes, Machrihanish PA28 6PT, Scotland​​.
  • Springbank Distillery (Just 550 meters away): If you’re into whiskey, why not hit up another distillery? It’s super close, open from 10:00-18:00, and offers another taste of Campbeltown’s whiskey scene. Address: Springbank Distillery, Campbeltown PA28 6ET, United Kingdom​​.
  • Wilder Ways (9.2 km away): For a bit of adventure, check out Wilder Ways. It’s a horseback riding experience that adds a bit of excitement to your visit. Address: Glen Kerran Farm Southend, Campbeltown PA28 6PJ Scotland​​.
  • Davaar Island Cave Painting of the Crucifixion (630 meters away): This is something different. Check out the unique cave painting on Davaar Island. It’s a short walk and offers a bit of culture and history. Address: Davaar Island, Campbeltown PA28 6RE, Scotland​​.
  • Mull of Kintyre Lighthouse: This lighthouse offers a great view and a bit of a hike. It’s a good spot for those who enjoy a scenic walk with a bit of history​​.
  • Westport Beach: For beach lovers, Westport Beach is a great place to relax, enjoy the sand, and maybe even catch some waves​​.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Glen Scotia Distillery?

  • Harbourview Grille: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps. Their address is Royal Hotel, Main St, Campbeltown PA28 6AG, United Kingdom.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441586810000. 
  • Number Forty Two: It has a rating of 4.6 stars on Google Maps. Their address is 42 Main St, Campbeltown PA28 6AD, United Kingdom.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441586554642. 
  • The Black Sheep Pub: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps. Their address is 1 Kinloch Rd, Campbeltown PA28 6EG, United Kingdom.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441586810032.

What hotels are near Glen Scotia Distillery?

  • The Royal Hotel: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps. Their address is Main St, Campbeltown PA28 6AG, United Kingdom.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +448001513701. 
  • Ardshiel Hotel: It has a rating of 4.7 stars on Google Maps. Their address is Kilkerran Rd, Campbeltown PA28 6JL, United Kingdom.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441586552133. 
  • Grammar Lodge Guesthouse: It has a rating of 5.0 stars on Google Maps. Their address is St John St, Campbeltown PA28 6AU, United Kingdom.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441586553355.