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Issue 81 - Party time

Whisky Magazine Issue 81
July 2009

 

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Party time

Everyone likes a birthday party. All your friends come round, there's food, and, if you're a distillery, plenty of whisky.

Glengyle Distillery celebrated its fifth birthday with a global launch and christening on the same day. The Kilkerran Single Malt – Work In Progress enjoyed its party in bright sunshine and with visitors from across the globe. There were fans from Scotland, England, mainland Europe and the United States, all there to witness the rebirth of Scotland's newest 'old' distillery.

Glengyle closed in 1925, victim along with many of the famous Campbeltown distilleries of the economic downturn following the end of the first world war, and prohibition in the US. The distillery had a variety of uses until a new company, Mitchell's Glengyle Limited, was formed under the chairmanship of Hedley Wright, great great nephew of William Mitchell, the original builder of Glengyle, who is also head of J & A Mitchell, the owners of nearby Springbank Distillery.

The story of how Glengyle came back to life is one told with relish by Frank McHardy, director of production at J & A Mitchell. “The site became available in 1999 and Mr Wright bought it immediately. Our ethos has always been to purchase property or land next to us. Six months later, he said to me: ‘I think we will start a distillery'.” What followed was a journey across the length and breadth of Scotland, sourcing equipment.

McHardy had worked at Invergordon grain distillery between 1963 and ‘66. In 1965 ...

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