Cruising Along Campbeltown: Whisky Lover's Eden
Resting at the foot of the winding Kintyre Peninsula, Campbeltown was once famous as the whisky capital of the world. Flanked by Loch Campbel, this deceptively tiny township had as many as 34 distilleries strewn across its length and breadth. But, those are days of yore. The count may have dipped to just three distilleries in the recent years, but Campbeltown, with its rich heritage of making malt whisky is a dream destination for whisky lovers. Of all things that this petite town has to offer, distillery tours are right up the ally of whisky aficionados.
When in town, do not miss visiting the Springbank Distillery. Established in 1828, it remains the oldest family-run distillery in Campbeltown. As a seasoned docent walks you down the meandering halls wedged between the mossy stone walls of the distillery, discover the traditional process of floor malting and bottling whisky, all under one roof. Once done with Springbank, make some time for a short visit to the Glena Scotia Distillery. A far remove from the magnificence of grand Speyside distilleries, Glena Scotia oozes old world charm, and is perfect for a quiet whisky tasting session on the Scottish lowlands.
Apart from distillery tours, you might also like to pay a visit to the Mull of Kintyre Lighthouse for a bird’s eye view of the elfin Campbeltown. Book yourself a sea tour, and cruise on the waters of Loch Campbel, lazily sipping on a glass of Scotland’s finest malt while soaking in the beautiful natural landscape. Campbeltown may be one of the tiniest Scottish whisky-making settlements, but it has a lot to offer to the explorer in you.
Set Sail for the James Sedgwick Distillery
Away from the popular whisky destinations of Europe stands an award-winning 130-year-old whisky distillery on the shores of South Africa. About an hour’s drive from the city of Cape Town lies The James Sedgwick Distillery, founded in 1850 by the eponymous Captain James Sedgwick. After bidding adieu to the sea, the captain retired for a quiet life by the serene waters of the cape. He soon made his foray into a liquor, cigar, and tobacco business, establishing J. Sedgwick & Co. After the captain’s death in 1870, his four sons expanded the already flourishing business, importing wines, and brewing their own brandy. And, they did not stop at that. They bought two buildings by the Berg River in an attempt to create their own distillery. Who’d have known that the newly bought twin buildings were to become the oldest and the only commercial whisky distillery of South Africa one day? Standing tall and proud, steeped in history, the distillery offers a breath-taking view of Hawekwa, and Groenberg mountain ranges too.Read More
Unearthing George Washington's Distillery
Who could have imagined that the Father of the Nation of the United States would set his mind on whisky making after retiring from his presidency in 1797? Yet, that is exactly what George Washington did. Shortly after stepping down from his stately duties, he was looking forward to the peacefulness of a sedentary pastoral life which had so far eluded him. Mount Vernon was his sanctuary of choice, and when plantation owner James Anderson met George Washington, he proposed they utilize the watermills, and state-of-art gristmill of Vernon for whisky production.Read More
King's County Distillery: New York’s Oldest
They say old is gold. Old distilleries hold an irresistible charm for any whisky lover. And, a search for the oldest operating whisky distillery in New York will lead you to the King’s County Distillery. Standing in a corner on the Brooklyn Navy Yard, this 117-year old distillery was America’s first to open after the Prohibition Era. Beginning the journey in a tiny room in East Williamsburg, the distillery shifted to the waterfront Paymaster Building, a stone’s throw away from the landmark where the Brooklyn Whisky War of 1860s was fabled to have taken place. The King’s County Distillery strikes a note of symphony between the traditional, and the modern. The distillery uses copper stills imported from Scotland with hand-built wooden fermenters sourced locally in their distillation process. It remains one of the oldest, and the most prominent craft distilleries of New York, well known for producing corn whiskey, and bourbon.Read More