Glen Scotia has a more extensive website than you might expect for a small, remote distillery that's not open to the public. Though it doesn't appear to have been updated since 2011.
Glen Scotia is not open to the public.
Founded as Scotia Distillery in 1832 by James Stewart and John & William Galbraith family who ran it until 1919 when it was acquired by West Highland Distilleries, who also bought Glengyle in the same year. (At least this is the timeline according to most sources, though the distillery's own site has Duncan MacCallum buying the distillery in 1891 and forming a company called Stewart Galbraith & Co - which may have lead to some of the confusion). Whichever is correct, West Highland Distilleries went broke in 1924, and Scotia was bought by one of its directors Duncan MacCallum, but production ceased in 1928.
MacCallum committed suicide in 1930 drowning himself in Crosshill (or possibly Campbeltown) Loch after discovering he had been swindled out of a large sum of money. MacCallum's ghost is said to haunt the distillery.
Bloch Brothers bought the distillery around this time and restarted production in 1933 (the year US Prohibition was repealed) - the year they also renamed the distillery - Glen Scotia.
Glen Scotia continued to have a fairly chequered history - and several changes of ownership. Even after being sold to Glen Catrine (owners of Loch Lomond Distillery) in 1994, for some time the equipment was kept "ticking over" with occasional use, run by staff from Springbank. The last few years appear to have brought an upturn in its fortunes, and as mentioned elsewhere on this page, 2013 has seen the launch of a range of 5 new expressions of Glen Scotia.
Malt Madness, Wikipedia, WhiskyMerchants.co.uk
Click the map's Google logo to go to Google Maps - for Directions, Street View etc.
Open Cycle Map Bing Map Nearby: Springbank Glengyle Arran
Glen Scotia Distillery is in the middle of Campbeltown - it's getting to Campbeltown that's the problem - particularly by bike. Nearest train stations: Dalmally (DAL) (90 miles), Oban (OBN) (86), Ardrossan Harbour (ADS) (49 miles plus 2 ferries). Live Train Times: DAL OBN, ADS (The nearest station is actually Portrush in N Ireland a 90 minute ferry journey and 19 miles away).
The Scottish Ferry Services: Ferries Plan (2013-2022) recommended an experimental Summer ferry service from Ardrossan to Campbeltown via Brodick (Arran) should commence from May 2013. This has now appeared as a late addition to the CalMac Summer timetable, with direct services from Ardrossan to Campbeltown on Thu/Fri/Sun and from Campbeltown to Ardrossan on Fri/Sun and via Brodick on Saturday.
Until recently the only generally available bottling was a 12yo, but a new range was launched in early 2013 comprising 10, 12, 16, 18, 21yo bottled at 46%, unchillfiltered. which from the two examples I've tasted are very good - a considerable improvement on the old 40% 12yo. Don't be put off by the rather garish presentation, the contents of the bottles are well worth it.
A number of independent bottlings are also available.
LFW, RMW, TWE
The Cycle Shop in Longrow is now closed.
Photos on this page were taken by me. Click on photo to enlarge. Full size versions of all my photos of Glen Scotia Distillery are available on Flickr.