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Kilkerran Whisky

Glengyle distillery was founded in 1872 by the farmer William Mitchell and lies on Glebe Street in close proximity to the centre of Campbeltown. William had previously owned Springbank distillery with his brother John, they parted ways after a quarrel. Following the Pattison crisis, West Highland Malt Distilleries acquired the distillery in 1919. Glengyle distillery went into voluntary liquidation five years later, officially closing in 1925 having auctioned all of the malt whisky stocks. For some time the Campbeltown Miniature Rifle Club rented the buildings, using them as a rifle range. It was acquired by Bloch Brothers in 1940, but failed to effectively restart production due to the difficulties that the Second World War brought on. By the 1970s, Glengyle had become a headquarters for the Kintyre Farmers Cooperative, the malting floors were used as offices and the kiln room had been used to package animal feed.

It was in 2004 that Hedley Wright, chairman of J&A Mitchell and Co which owns Springbank, acquired the buildings and founded Mitchell’s Glengyle Ltd. Distillation equipment, including the stills was brought in from the recently closed Ben Wyvis as well as the malt mill from Craigellachie. The first release was a new make spirit, launched in May 2007, the first official single malt whisky is set for release in 2012.In 2016 a permanent 12-year-old expression was released, the first core expression to be launched.

Bottlings from Mitchell’s Glengyle are under the name Kilkerran. The reason being the Glengyle name was already owned by Loch Lomond Distillers, it being a vatted malt. Kilkerran derives from the Scottish Gaelic ‘Ceann Loch Cille Chiarain’, a name for Saint Kerran’s religious settlement, now Campbeltown.

The distillery has one set of stills and acquires malt from sister distillery Springbank. Capacity is around 750,000 litres, with plans to increase production in the years to come.

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