Campbeltown Malts Festival 2024: Dates, events and festival bottlings from Glen Scotia and Springbank

It’s officially spring, which means the countdown to whisky festival season in Scotland has begun.

Published 5th Apr 2024
Updated 15 th May 2024

Mid May is the time for the Campeltown Malts Festival, which falls after Spirit of Speyside in early May, and just before Feis Ile, the Islay Festival, at the end of May.

A pinnacle moment in Scotland’ 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.

It’s also one to watch, with more distilleries planned for Campbeltown, this festival is set to grow once these open.

When is the Campbeltown Malts Festival 2024?

This year’s Campbeltown Malts Festival will run from Monday 20 – Saturday 25 May. This year is also the 20th anniversary of Kilkerran single malt, so Friday 24 May will be a day dedicated to this. 

Glen Scotia’s festival days are Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 May, with Springbank’s on Thursday 23 May. Cadenhead’s tastings will feature throughout the week, instead of one dedicated day.

What events are taking place at the Campbeltown Malts Festival?

Glen Scotia

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.

After huge success last year, Glen Scotia is offering a selection of talks and tasting in the Courtyard free of charge, as well as ticketed events.

On Tuesday 21 May, there’s a Glen Scotia festival dinner from 7.30pm at Machrihanish Airbase, with tickets priced at £150 per person. Whisky fans can join for a three course meal, special guest speakers and whisky, including some hand selected single cask drams not available for purchase. As per tradition, each guest will receive a complimentary 70cl of the exclusive single cask Festival Dinner Bottling, bottled only for the evening guests. 

On Wednesday 22 May, there’s a dunnage warehouse tasting with Iain McAlister. Visitors will get the chance to sample five unreleased liquids handpicked by Iain from casks in the heart of the distillery.  Priced at £55, there’s three of these - 11am, 2pm and 5.30pm and the event lasts an hour.

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Campbeltown Malts Festival 2024
Glen Scotia master distiller, Iain McAlister, with Becky Paskin in the dunnage warehouse

At 10.30am and 2pm there’s a blending experience with OurWhisky foundation founder Becky Paskin and master blender Michael Henry. Priced at £60, this experience lasts an hour and a half.

At 4pm there’s a new make spirit school in which spirits writer Millie Miliken and master distiller Iain McAlister explore new make spirit, and uncover the flavours that are created. Priced at £30, this experience lasts an hour.

At 12.30pm, visitors can explore the world of sherry and whisky with Dave Broom and master blender Micheal Henry. Priced at £40 and lasting one hour, this masterclass will showcase the history and flavours of different sherries, and the influence they have on Glen Scotia.

There’s also an hour long whisky history walking tour available as well as  free events taking place in the courtyard. These include very special whisky guests, live music, live tastings, delicious food and fully stocked bars serving your favourite Glen Scotia drams.

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

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Springbank

On Wednesday 22 May from 6.30pm is the annual distillery malt barns dinner. There will be members of staff from Springbank, Kilkerran and Cadenhead’s present throughout to share chat and drams with.

After a champagne and canape reception, guests will enjoy a hand drawn selection of whiskies from cask. All guests will then vote for their favourite and the most popular choice will be bottled to take home on the night. Then follows a four course meal with wine.

Springbank's open day is Thursday 23 May, and includes tours, tastings and live music.

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.

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Tickets for tastings range from £40 with events including a Springbank Cage Bottles Tasting; The Art (and Science) of Mashing and Springbank Warehouse Tasting. 

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

Cadenhead’s and Glengyle

From Monday 20 May there will be a Cadenhead’s warehouse tasting, priced at £50, times vary. At these tastings, guests will try six whiskies that have been handpicked for this year’s festival. Three of these whiskies will be available to purchase at the end, exclusively to those attending the tasting. 

On the evening of Monday 20 May there will be a charity tasting of whiskies distilled in the 1960s and 1970s. Final details are still to be confirmed.

Friday 24 May is dedicated to Kilkerran, with events taking place at Glengyle distillery from 10am until 6.30pm. Visitors can buy a special Kilkerran Open Day bottling, as well as enjoy tastings, free tours, food stalls and local craft stalls. The Cadenhead’s Lucky Dip bar is also back.

Tastings range from £40-£50 and include Kilkerran Cocktail Masterclass; Kilkerran: The Journey Towards our 20th Year and Kilkerran Warehouse Tasting.

Find out more about all of these events on the Springbank website.

Glen Scotia Festival bottling

This year’s Glen Scotia festival bottling is an unpeated 9 Year Old finished in fino Sherry casks. It will be on sale later this month.

Past festival bottlings included an 11-Year-Old lightly peated single malt that was finished for 12 months in white port casks and an 8-year-old expression which was matured in heavily peated, first-fill bourbon barrels before a twelve-month finish in Pedro Ximénès hogsheads. These bottles tend to be priced around £55-£60. 

Springbank Festival bottling

Springbank's 2024 festival whisky is a 10 year old finished in a Fijian Rum cask and bottled at 57.1%, and priced at £35.00.

Hazelburn Festival bottling

From Hazelburn it's an 8 year old bourbon and olorosso dram, bottled at 52.8% and it's £35.

Longrow Festival bottling

Longrow is a 16 year old ruby port, bottled at 54.7% and it's £45.

Last year’s festival bottlings from Springbank were a 24 year old, a 14 year old and an 8 year old whisky.

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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