I grew up not far from Campbeltown, the town in which this Distillery is situated.
Shamefully as a former local I have only two Campbeltown malts in my collection just now (A Longrow Red and a Kilkerran Work In Progress Sherrywood – both stunning drams).
Springbank distillery was founded in 1828 by William Reid and came into the hands of the Mitchell family in 1837. It was mothballed in 1979, only to reopen again in 1987 under the ownership of the Mitchells great, great grandson.
The distillery is home to three separate brands. Springbank, Hazelburn and Longrow.
Springbank Local Barley 16y.o, OB, 54.5% abv (available here)
The nose is prodominantly sweet, but distant, peat. Elastoplasts, raisins and an almost fudge like note round off an intriguing and inviting aroma.
The palate has a delicious dirty note that I dont really know how best to describe. Brine mixed with green (and very ripe) fruits and the slightest hint of fresh cucumber rounded off with some very gentle phenols.
The finish is long, lingering and delicious. The scent of sea spray over a white, ashy tang brings to mind a driftwood bonfire. Perhaps even a slightly fishy note right at the end.
Campbeltown malts always seem to have this ‘dirty’ feel to them. For me most Islay malts seem to have a slight meatyness ( BBQ glazed ham ) to them whereas most Campbeltowns I have tried seem to have this fishy, dirty prescence. Perhaps its just the romantic thoughts of home and the recollections of the terroir that slighlty cloud and confuse my palate.
Nonetheless, a beautiful dram.
Thanks again to my Whisky Wingman for the sample.