Plans submitted for Dál Riata Distillery in Campbeltown

Campbeltown could have a new whisky distillery, as plans for Dál Riata have been submitted.

Published 17th Feb 2022
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

Previously known as the capital of the whisky world, in the mid 1800s Campbeltown had over 25 distilleries, until a dramatic decline during the 1920s. By 1929 the town had only two operating distilleries.

But now there's set to be one more, as plans for a new distillery Dál Riata, have been submitted.

The name Dál Riata is derived from the ancient kingdom that existed on the Western coast of Scotland and Northeast
Ireland between the 6th and 9th Centuries.

Dál Riata Distillery will have the capacity to produce 850,000 litres of spirit per annum and will utilise locally grown barley from Dunadd Hillfort.

This area, near Lochgilphead, was the capital of the Dál Riata kingdom and will be inspiration for creating a spirit and whisky fitting to the style and traditions of the region.

Plans have been submitted for the distillery, which will be located on Kinloch Road overlooking Campbeltown Loch, by Bowman Stewart Architects of Lochgilphead.

The distillery will aim to enhance the area and work within the Campbeltown Conservation Area scheme.

The Still House will incorporate curtain-wall glazing with a viewing balcony providing sweeping views of the Loch and bay.

In addition to the distillery, a retail and visitor’s centre will be situated on Longrow, adjacent to the distillery.

The three directors are Iain Croucher, Ronnie Grant & David Stirk.

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Iain Croucher said of the plans: “Dál Riata Distillery will be much more than just a single malt whisky production facility; it will be friends and family, it will be business, it will be social and believe us, it will be fun.

"A distillery is nothing without its supporters. To be able to connect with people around a table discussing our production methods, wood policy or our maturation strategy, or simply to catch up with old friends, I can only imagine will be the most magical whisky experience.

"The addition of this distillery to the Campbeltown region will reinforce the town’s place in the story of Scotch and Dál Riata will be a new chapter to an already incredible history.”

To mark the launch of both South Star Spirits and Dál Riata Distillery, three bottlings have been released under the South Star Spirits label: Highland, Speyside and Islay.

Each release is a classic expression of the area from which they have been produced and each expression is a vatting of 10 Hogsheads:

  • Highland is a 10-year-old single malt. The liquid itself is nutty, rich and chewy with a robustness expected of a Highland whisky.
  • Speyside is also a 10-year-old single malt. The nose is fruity and floral, leading onto a salty sweet palate of toffee and syrup.
  • Finally, Islay is an 8-year-old single malt. The intense peaty liquid boasts those classic Islay flavour notes of smoke, sweet vanilla and sea salt on the palate.

There are 2,200 bottles of each available worldwide; all are bottled at 48% abv, non-chill filtered and natural colour.

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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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