In Focus: Glengyle Distillery


Our In Focus series offers you a deep dive into some of the distilleries featured across our store. This instalment comes courtesy of Geraldo's Whisky Ambassador, James Gillies, and features a few trivia questions for those in the know!


One of only three distilleries in the ‘Wee Toon’, Glengyle benefits from the craftsmanship of its ‘sister’ distillery, but without its brand (‘Kilkerran’) suffering from the unwanted attention that the ‘Springbank’ brand currently does.
Q1:  Why do the expressions not use ‘Glengyle’ as the brand?
Glengyle Distillery


After a fall-out with his brother, William Mitchell left Springbank and, in 1872, founded his own distillery, Glengyle, close by.

Q2: What did the brothers fall out over?

 After closing in 1925, the buildings were re-purposed over the years, until in 2000, Hedley Wright, owner of Springbank and a relation to William Mitchell, acquired the buildings, and instructed that it be re-instated as a fully operational distillery once more.

One of the reasons for doing so, was that Campbeltown’s status as a whisky-producing “region” was at risk, as the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) was working on codifying the geographical indications into EU Law, and were of the opinion that two operational distilleries weren’t enough to justify “regional” status. Mr. Wright argued that, as the Lowland ‘region’ only had three active distilleries at that time, having Glengyle operational again would pacify the SWA.

Q3: Can you name the three active distilleries in the Lowland 'region' in 2000?
The stills at Glengyle


With Glengyle Distillery becoming active, again, in 2004, Campbeltown does have [so-called] “regional” status and, like Islay, is a ‘protected locality’.

As the malt whisky produced at Glengyle is, arguably, one of the best value for money, it’s amazing to think that it’s crafted using quite a number of second-hand components! The Boby mill was sourced from Craigellachie Distillery; and both stills, their condensers, the spirit safe and the spirit receiver were all sourced from the long-closed Ben Wyvis Distillery (Invergordon).
Q4: What’s unusual about the spirit still at Glengyle?
Another interesting fact is that Glengyle doesn’t have any production staff. Instead, the production team at Springbank cease operations at that distillery, and for three months of the year, move up to Glengyle; normally from mid-September until the Christmas break.

Although the output of ‘Kilkerran’ is low (~200,000 LPA), due to the distillery only being operational for three months of the year, the quality is exceptional, and the expressions range from lightly peated, highly peated, cask strength and even triple distilled.

You can see our Kilkerran (and Springbank) stock here.

In Their Own Words:


Hear from Stephen Kelly about the rebuilding of Mitchell's Glengyle Distillery - 

Trivia answers:
Q1: The brand name 'Glen Gyle' is owned by the Loch Lomond Group, and has been used for a blended malt.
Q2: They were farmers as well as distillers and, apparently, fell out over sheep! Baa-d luck, eh?
Q3: The three active Lowland distilleries in 2000 were Auchentoshan, Bladnoch and Glenkinchie.
Q4: The spirit still at Glengyle was originally a wash still and still has its wash window!


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