Campbeltown Malts Festival runs over four days prior to Islay's week-long Feis Ile. Geographically, this makes perfect sense for whisky lovers and aficionados who want to experience both festivals in Scotland's condensed Whisky meccas without making the trip around the A83 more than necessary.
Tuesday 21st was Kintyre Gin's open day, but also Glen Scotia's annual festival dinner, held at the Ardshiel Hotel. Fifty guests of Glen Scotia enjoyed the superb hospitality of one of Scotland's best small hotels whilst toasting sláinte to new releases, old favourites and single casks.
Wednesday 22nd was Glen Scotia's official day, local craft stalls, hosted whisky tastings and live music filled the day, along with the odd one or two Double Cask cocktails. The weather that has become expected of Campbeltown during this week did not disappoint and the sun (as usual) shone all day.
Thursday 23rd was a day not for the faint-hearted or the weak. Springbank's open day is rammed with tasting events, from mass whisky tastings held in the maltings and vast empty spaces to small warehouse tastings where unbottled single casks are poured.
Friday 24th a more relaxed day was in order and with Cadenheads Independent Bottlers and Glen Gyle taking its turns, it was evident that many festival goers were looking for a slower pace, especially those who still had a full week of Whisky events lined up in front of them at Islay's Feis Ile.
The week also consisted of many satellite tasting opportunities, including a pre-festival tasting hosted by Single Malts of Scotland at the Ardshiel Hotel on Monday 20th and a live stream festival tasting hosted by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society on Wednesday 22nd, again at the Ardshiel hotel.
After writing this and then reading it back it sounds like whisky was the staple ingredient of the four days. Well yes, it was, but Campbeltown as the smallest whisky region in Scotland really does pack a punch during its festival period, with only three distilleries the program is full and attracts many attendees from far-flung areas, including the USA, the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden to name just a few.
If you haven't yet visited this whisky region then all of us at Angels' Share Glass highly recommend making the three and half hour drive from Glasgow to enjoy some of Scotland's oldest traditional whisky distilleries. You will also find some of our bespoke glassware on sale in Cadenhead's shop on Longrow, including whisky angels, candles and water whisky droppers.