Springbank is a whisky loved by many but it is not a whisky that everyone will know.. Founded back in 1828 on the site of an old illicit site, this distillery has seen many changes in its life.. Found in the once proclaimed “whisky capital of the world” Campbeltown, Springbank distillery is in the hands of Hedley G. Wright, the 5th generation owner from the Mitchell family..
The distillery still to this date does everything on site, with 100% of the malted barley still produced by floor maltings on site to bottling and of course everything in between..
Producing your very own malted barley is a time consuming job not to mention a back braking job, so no wonder most of the distilleries don’t do it any more ! After 3 days of ” steeping” in cool, clean water it is then laid out 6 inches deep on the malting floor where it is turned regularly before moving to the kiln area, The malt is then dried, ( This distillery produces Springbank, Hazleburn and Longrow whisky ) so depending which whisky is being produced depends on the drying procedure, as peat, or just hot air or both might be used to dry the barley.. Once dried the barley is milled using the 1940’s Porteous mill, the grist is then mashed in the cast iron mash tun. Fermentation is then carried out for up to 110 hours, before the liquid is distilled for 2.5 times (longrow twice and Hazleburn is triple distilled) using a direct flame under the stills..
So today’s review is from a sample sent as part of a sample swop so the only info I have is that this is an 8yo whisky and I believe it is fully matured in sherry casks.. The abv is 57.2% and is natural colour and NCF as far as I know.. ( I will add any info once I know more ..
Nose.. There is a definite sulphur note in this, struck matches are instantly noticeable with dried fruits and dark chocolate notes struggling to break through. Hints of almonds, cinnamon and candied oranges with a little burnt toffee and caramel aromas once again battling to break through.
Palate.. A spicy little beast.. Lots of wood spice explodes with that sulphur note still evident, oaky and sweet at the same time, marzipan, stewed fruits and cinder toffee all blend together while that chocolate note just creeps in towards the end.
Finish.. Spicy with a box full of matches…
Thoughts.. Now I’m not a big fan once I find any sulphur in my whisky but it does seem to work in this ( I think ) .. I am not sure though if I would say I love it or just think I’m happy to drink this one.. There certainly isn’t anything wrong here it’s just a personal thing.. Would I buy it ? I’m on the fence with that.. I’m sure Springbank fans will be loving this and pulling their hair out right now.. I think I need to try more !!
Thanks go out to John ( @jwbassman on twitter.. check out his pictures.. They are rather good !! ) for the sample swop and bottle picture…
Added info.. This is a Springbank 8yo First fill sherry matured whisky distilled in September 2007 and bottled April 2016. 594 bottles were produced and sold to society members.