Campbeltown’s historic place in the whisky world was helped by its location, with the barley fields of Kintyre, peat bogs to supply peat for malting, water from Crosshill Loch and coal from Drumlemble mine to fuel the stills. With Campbeltown being a bustling sea port at the time, it was easy for distilleries to ship their produce over to Glasgow to be sent around the world.
This meant that it was a major producer of Scotch in the 1800s, but the 20th Century brought a major downturn with the impact of Prohibition in America, the World Wars and the Great Depression meaning that no less than 17 distilleries in Campbeltown closed down in the 1920’s alone.
Another major reason for the region’s fall from grace was that it became a victim of its own success. With demand outstripping supply, many distilleries were tempted to let quality standards drop, badly damaging both their own reputation and that of Campbeltown as a whole. Regions like Speyside and the Highlands overtook them and the area has never quite recovered.
Whiskies from Campbeltown are known to be robust and smoky with maritime notes to go with their sea-bound heritage. Flavours include dried fruit, vanilla, toffee, and brine while the single malts generally have a dry and pungent body.