"Wow, this is whisky! One of the best standard bottlings for this price and a perfect start for discovering the unique character of Campbeltown whisky"
(Photo from Springbank)
ODD. Original. Distinct. Defiant. This is the slogan for one of the few surviving distilleries based in the remote town of Campbeltown. Established in 1828, Springbank Distillery is the oldest family-owned distillery in Scotland, currently in the hands of the 5th generation of the Mitchell family. They proudly proclaim to carry out 100% of the production process in situ. They are renowned for the constant high quality of their spirits, being either Springbank, Longrow (their peated version) or Hazelburn (their non-peated version). Springbank 10-year-old was originally launched in 2000 and consist of a mix of bourbon and sherry-matured spirit. The 10-year-old represents their entry distillery bottling with a price (in the Netherlands) of around €35-€50. A sturdy, classic bottle with beautifully designed label, although they have felt the need for some modernisation in 2017. I don’t believe that this has affected the quality of the contents, but I have not personally put that to the test. However, what I can already reveal is that this has been one of the benchmark bottlings at Whiskywobbles for quite some time.
The first scents directly draw you into the glass. Wow! Thick and meaty! It reminds me of roasted chicken or well-filled chicken soup, smoked ham, and barbecued meat with sweet and sour sauce. Hints of peat follow, definitely not coming from Islay, rather fruitier and sweeter. A smouldering fire after roasting some paprika’s, pineapple of honey-glazed chicken. The peat is accompanied by a combination of sweet pears and tropical fruits (mango, pineapple, unripe peaches and bananas). Before becoming too sweet, there are sour & salty herbal notes of green tea and soya sauce entering the nose. The interplay of the different layers is absolutely beautiful.
A lovely thick mouthfeel with a heavy palette containing ashy peat, peppery spices, briny saltiness and sweet & sour. We love it already! It is quite different from the nose with less fruit and more spices, in particular at the end of each sip. The development brings pepper and tabasco, but also more herbal notes of sweet paprika and rocket lettuce. There is a chalky, dusty trail in the background, which I find very Springbank-like. After a while the sweet fruitiness decides to join the party. I can be wrong, but at some moment I thought I even recognised bubblegum. The palate has a lovely complexity and incredible full character for such a relatively young whisky.
First words that enter my mind: “Wow, this is whisky!”. So heavy and thick, you can almost chew on it. What also stands out for me is that this is really different, unique, and a real enrichment next to your other Scotch single malts. A distillery to cherish. Moreover, this should be an example for any new distillery on how to develop a distinctive style of whisky. Well, the owners have already shown everyone how to do it with their brilliant spirit produced at the close-by Glengyle Distillery.
A bottle of this was purchased from
• these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •