Origin: Campbeltown (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry
Additional coloring: No
Owner: J & A Mitchell & Co Ltd.
Average price: € 49.00
Official website: springbank.scot
After talking about the Kilkerran 8 Cask Strength, it seemed logical to take care of Glengyle’s mother distillery, that Springbank that from the main page of its website declares that its own is the “whisky of whisky drinkers”.
And so much presumption comes not only from the many awards received in its almost bicentennial history, but also from the pride of being the oldest independent family-run distillery in Scotland, and it’s one of those families that goes the extra mile, taing care of all the processing, from barley malting to ageing on site (which, in fact, many don’t) to bottling.
And that’s no small thing.
No addition of color, no chillfiltration, Springbank spirits are natural and artisanal, but that’s not an old conxcept: working on three lines of single malt (Hazelburn, Longrow and, of course, Springbank), they are able to experiment on different types of bottlings, peated and not, covering (almost) all the skilful tasting of whisky.
Does that mean they’re ruffians? No, but skilled traders yes, and in a world where big brands eat a large part of the market, it’s necessary not only to survive, but to thrive.
This is a bottle from the older version, still widely available.
Poured into the glass, you can immediately see a pleasant dark, caramelized shade, which given the young age is perhaps to be attributed to the Sherry component (the two souls of the whisky are joined at the end of ageing, without undergoing an overall finish in one or the other barrel).
And on the nose you can feel the presence of Sherry, with touches of caramel and red fruit, softed by a light peat, more mineral than burned (we are not on Islay, just to be clear), a lot of cereal (here is Bourbon), a touch of chocolate. Alcohol not at all invasive. To let it breathe in the glass, the salinity is accentuated, with a pleasantly moist and sweet peat, to make you almost think that you could eat it (spoiler: better not).
Letting the whisky flow through the palate, the influence of the sherried barrels subsides in favor of marine salinity, oily and almost buttery (like salted butter), peach, lemon, a pleasant pinch of spices and alcohol, moist peat. All well balanced and full-bodied, decisive, not at all accommodating and ruffian: despite being a ten-year-old, it’s not exactly an easy-approach malt.
Once the glass is finished (alas, sooner or later it has to…), the salty sweetness accompanies for some time (not particularly long) together with the oily peat caressing his palate.
Whisky of character, the marriage between the ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry barrels works perfectly without getting on each other toes, beautifully strong and sharp with pleasant and balanced contrasts.
And it’s only a 10-year-old…
The Scotch Noob