Campbeltown Malts Festival 2023: Dates, events and festival bottlings from Glen Scotia and Springbank

May coming to an end signals the second main whisky festival in Scotland, the Campbeltown Malts Festival.

Published 23rd May 2023
Updated 23 rd May 2023

The Campbeltown Malts Festival runs for four days in late May and falls after the Spirit of Speyside festival and just before Feis Ile, the Islay Festival.

A pinnacle moment in the smallest whisky region's annual calendar, the festival provides an opportunity for visitors to enjoy the affectionately named ‘Wee Toon’ and learn more about the Campbeltown drams while soaking up the history.

When is the Campbeltown Malts Festival 2023?

This year it runs from 23-26 May, with Glen Scotia events taking place on 24 May, Springbank's on 25 May and Cadenhead's and Glengyle on 26 May.

What events are taking place at the Campbeltown Malts Festival?

Glen Scotia

Award-winning whisky Distillery of the Year 2021, Glen Scotia, has a jam-packed series of events for this year’s Campbeltown Malts Festival.

Master distiller and distillery manager, Iain McAlister, and his team will be joined by a host of industry ambassadors for a programme of events, including tastings, live music and talks.

In a first for the Glen Scotia event, visitors will be able to attend a selection of talks and tasting in the Courtyard free of charge, as well as ticketed events.

Should they wish to enjoy a dram at the same time, they can purchase a £25 ‘Drampack’ which will give them access to four of the distillery’s drams, handpicked for each tasting, as well as a branded festival Glencairn glass and a lanyard.

Kicking off events, Glen Scotia’s Malts Festival Dinner will take place at the Machrihanish Airbase on Tuesday 23 May.

Guests will hear from Iain McAlister and special guests alongside a three-course meal. This will be accompanied by entertainment and five drams including the annual limited-edition Festival Release and a number of single cask drams
not otherwise available for sale.

On Wednesday, 24 May, some of the schedule include:

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  • Charles Maclean MBE will join Iain McAlister for a special Dunnage Warehouse Tasting, where visitors will get the chance to sample five unreleased liquids handpicked by Iain from casks in the heart of the distillery.  
  • Loch Lomond Group’s Master Blender, Michael Henry will guide a Deconstructed Victoriana Tasting using five cask-strength drams to show the makeup of Victoriana, one of Glen Scotia’s signature drams.  
  • Drinks experts Neil Ridley and Joel Harrison will take inspiration from their latest book in a series of 60-second cocktails masterclasses, using a selection of spirits including whisky and gin. They will also host a Cask Strength Tasting in the Courtyard with Iain, Charles and Michael, where visitors can listen and join along as the group make their way through a selection of Glen Scotia’s core range, limited release, and single cask samples.   
  • Felipe Schrieberg, spirits writer and musician, and Paul Archibald, drummer, will bring a bespoke Glen Scotia version of their much-loved Rhythm and Booze Project, which incorporates folk and blues music with dram tastings.  
  • Glen Scotia will unveil the results of its latest artistic collaboration through an immersive exhibition space deep inside its atmospheric warehouse. Guests will have the opportunity to hear directly from the artists themselves as well as sample liquid used during the recording.
Campbeltown Malts Festival
Picture: Iain McAlister

Glen Scotia’s full programme of events and tickets are available via its website.

This year’s Glen Scotia Campbeltown Malts Festival bottling is an 11-Year-Old lightly peated single malt that has been finished for 12 months in white port casks.


Campbeltown Malts Festival
Picture: Springbank

On Wednesday 24 May, staff from Springbank, Kilkerran and Cadenhead will play host to a malt barn dinner, from 7pm.

Guests can look forward to a champagne welcome drink, followed by a selection of whiskies and a four course meal.

Springbank's open day is Thursday 25 May, and includes tours, tastings and live music.

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Kicking off at 10am, fans can look forward to purchasing open day bottlings, tastings and free demos which are bookable throughout the day and free distillery tours available throughout the day.

There will be stalls selling food and local crafts, as well as live music from 1pm, with the day coming to a close a 6.30pm.

The Springbank festival bottlings for the 2023 Campbeltown Malts Festival are 24 year old, a 14 year old and an 8 year old whisky.

The team wrote on their social media: "Available in 35cl bottles and with around 2000 bottles available from each of the brands there are plenty to go around.

"A queue system will be in place so we remind you to be respectful to our staff and fellow whisky fans and most of all enjoy the day (and the many whiskies on offer)."

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Full information on timings, tickets and how to book is available here.

Cadenhead's and Glengyle

The Glengyle and Cadenhead’s open day will kick off at Glengyle Distillery from 10am, which is when fans will be able to buy the special Kilkerran and Cadenhead’s Open Day bottles.

There's also free distillery tours, local craft and food stalls, a cocktail bar and the Cadenhead's lucky dip bar.

The day will come to a close at 6.30pm

Events include:

  • 11am: Cadenhead’s Warehouse Tasting 1 - £40
  • 11:15am: Cadenhead’s Warehouse Tasting 2 - £40
  • 12:15pm: The Big Kilkerran Tasting - £35
  • 2pm: The Big Cadenhead’s Tasting - £45
  • 3:15pm: Cadenhead’s Tasting Tour of Scotland – £35
  • 3:45pm: Kilkerran Archives Tasting – £3
  • 4pm: Cadenhead’s Warehouse Tasting 3 – £40
  • 4:15pm: Cadenhead’s Warehouse Tasting 4 – £40
  • 4:30pm: Kilkerran Cocktail Masterclass – £35

More information and how to buy tickets can be found here.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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