Everyone from the Buddha to Sammy Davis Jr. has a pithy quote regarding patience and its virtues, but I doubt anyone has the ability to quietly wait 125 years for the opening of a new business in their town. Okay, except maybe the Buddha. Yes, he could afford to wait, seeing as he’d be making another go around on the wheel of life and knows he’ll catch the big ribbon cutting ceremony sooner or later.
But apart from him, the rest of us would likely pace and gripe. Well, for the folks down in Campbeltown, the fretting is finished. The doors have opened and the chimnies are smoking at the newest distillery on Scotland’s map.
In 1872, Glengyle started distilling spirits under the careful eye of the Campbeltown farmer William Mitchell. Before that, William and his brother owned Springbank, but a wicked squabble over some sheep resulted in a ‘parting of ways’. Sheep often do this to brothers–sheep and women, especially when they confuse one for the other.
In 1919, the First World War left its mark on the distillery, and after a basement bargain sale and another five years, shut down and auctioned off all stock.
After serving as a rifle range, a farmers’ co-op and a pigeon palace for 75 years, Mitchell’s great great nephew, Hedley Wright, decided it was time to make a clean sweep at the place and another stab at the business.
And so December 2000 found a few folks newly employed and no longer on friendly terms with the pigeon population.
The new bits and pieces slowly arrived, and the distillery (Kilkerran) began to take the shape of a soon to be functioning facility. With a few more slaps of paint, March 2004 was a date many folks carved into local trees with a large heart around it. The distillery opened at last.
In May of 2007, as with every hard working new make spirit, a big birthday party was held for the newly qualified whisky. Pictures were taken, food was eaten, and uncles were banished to the back porch for repeatedly embarassing the rest of the family by drinking too much and running naked through the living room. Okay, that last one I might have made up, but it’s a common occurrence for most of us.
Since then, three bottlings have been released under the names of Kilkerran Work in Progress 1, 2 & 3. Number 4 comes out this year. (Hopefully, by the time Number 5 is ready for release, they can rename it We Finally Figured It Out.)
So now that you know the history, the people and their short fuses over small farm animals, should you bother to support their last century plus of years struggling to place a bottle in your backyard? You betcha. (That’s Midwest speak for YES.)
Here’s a link to a review I find mouthwateringly most like mine.