Glen Scotia push reaches UK parliament

Shelley and Iain Mcalister, Glen Scotia manager, at Whiskyopolis.

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Glen Scotia Distillery’s push to position Campbeltown as the ‘whiskiest place in the world’ has made it all the way to Westminster, where the campaign has been recognised by a parliamentary motion.

The early day motion asks that ‘this House commends the campaign led by the Glen Scotia Distillery in Campbeltown, Argyll and Bute, to promote their home town as being the whiskiest place in the world; acknowledges that Campbeltown, which once boasted no fewer than 30 legal distilleries in the 1800s and was known in the Victorian era as Capital of Scotch, has played a hugely significant part in the history and development of whisky distilling in Scotland’.

It also congratulates Glen Scotia manager Iain McAlister on helping to raise awareness of the importance of Campbeltown to Scotland’s whisky heritage and commends the work being done by the town’s three surviving distilleries to promote Campbeltown as Scotland’s fifth official malt-producing region.

Brendan O’Hara, MP for Argyll and Bute and chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on Scotch whisky, tabled the early day motion on June 17. It has since gained cross-party support from a range of MPs based across the UK.

Mr O’Hara said: ‘I never miss an opportunity promote the work of our wonderful local distilleries, including Glen Scotia, which I was lucky enough to visit last year.

‘Increasingly, whisky tourism is a key part of any distillery business and Glen Scotia’s initiative in positioning Campbeltown as the whiskiest place in the world is an excellent idea and I wish their campaign all the success in the world in attracting people both to the distillery and the town.’

Iain McAlister, distillery manager, said: ‘It’s highly rewarding to be recognised in this way and it is great to see that the parliamentary motion has been joined by other MPs from around the UK. It’s quite an achievement for Campbeltown, which is the most remote mainland town in Scotland.

‘Research suggests that Campbeltown was the predominant Scotch whisky town for almost 100 years and we think it is important to highlight the significant contribution that the town, Scotland’s smallest and most remote official malt-producing region, continues to make to this day.’

Campbeltown has been described as the forgotten giant of the Scotch whisky industry. Its dominance was largely the result of its proximity to Glasgow and abundance of local resources, including fresh water, peat, coal and locally grown barley.

In the 19th century, it was home to about 30 distilleries, leading it to be known as ‘Whiskyopolis’ and developing a distinct style of whisky reflective of its remote location.

The early day motion can be read in full at: