Glen Scotia is one of just three distilleries in Campbeltown and the only one actively releasing single malt - the newly founded Mitchell's Glengyle has some years still to go. Glen Scotia was founded in 1832 by Stewart, Galbraith and Co and sited to the north of the town. The distillery draws its cooling waters from the Crosshill Loch and two bore holes, drilled over twenty metres into the rock below. Campbeltown was the capital of Scotch whisky production before the US Prohibition was enacted. There were some twenty-eight distilleies, though after the act was passed only three survived.
Glen Scotia was acquired by West Highland Malt Distillers in 1919 and five years later the company went bankrupt. Duncan MacCallum, a director, purchased the company. The distillery was closed again in 1928 and a couple of years later, following great financial trouble, Duncan MacCallum threw himself into the very loch from which the Glen Scotia distillery draws its water. It is said that his ghost haunts the distillery. Glen Scotia survived the Second World War, having restarted production in 1933 after the repeal of Prohibition. In 1954, Hiram Walker acquired the distillery and shortly after it was purchased by A Gillies and Co.
In 1979, £1 million was spent on reconstruction which lasted until 1982 and two years later the distillery closed once more. Glen Scotia was acquired by Glen Catrine Bonded Warehouse Ltd and in 2000 Loch Lomond distillery took over, providing staff and running the operations. Today, the Glen Scotia produces 100,000 litres annually - substantially lower than its three quarter million capacity. The distillery now has a staff of just two; James Grogan, the long time stillman, and Hector Gatt of Springbank fame. There have been several official releases and a few independent bottlings.