Tag Archive: Springbank


Springbank: Bourbon Wood: 14 Year (Scottish Campbeltown Single Malt Whisky: 14 Year: 55.8% ABV)

Visual: Pale greened gold. Thick slow streaks.

Nose: Pencil shavings. Moss. Dry nuttiness. White chocolate and vanilla. Water adds vanilla toffee to fudge.

Body: Thick and spirity. White chocolate. Grassy. Oily character. Vanilla. Orange notes. Shreddies. Water adds lime and fudge. Still strong feel. More grassy and moss. Apples. More water adds toffee liqueur.

Finish: Menthol air. White chocolate. Nutty oils. Creamy orange. Light smoke, Water adds lime, grassy character. Peat character comes out. Apples. Marshmallows.

Conclusion: I tried this whisky first at one of Independent Spirit’s Uber whisky tastings – I was taking it easy that night so did not take any notes at the time. What I did take though was a bottle of this home with me. Ok, technically I took it home a short while later – I try not to make such purchases after alcohol has influenced my decisions.

On first sip of this, my own bottle of it, I feared that my drunken memory had fooled me – it was still a solid Springbank – grassy, mossy, smoke and hint of peat, but it didn’t live up to my memory of an excellent stand out whisky. The alcohol character gives this thick, warming, oily character that is really overwhelming and lets little of the subtlety out to play.

Still, at an abv like this has, why was I surprised? So, let us hope that water, as is usual, is the difference maker. So I added a little. Daaaamn. That was indeed, the difference maker. This is now sweeter than the average Springbank – it seems that spending its full time in bourbon wood has given a solid vanilla toffee, fudge and white chocolate set of notes that make a huge contrast to the native grass and peaty character that makes this stand out. Odder still you have this lovely apple character behind it that seems to be an element of the spirit that has not really shown itself before.

It is delightful – the slightly heavier, but not Longrow level peat character comes out now. The savoury grass notes work brilliant against the bourbon backed white chocolate sweetness. Despite me mentioning them several times the sweetness is used in a subtle way – not sickly and nowhere near overpowering the basic Springbank character. They just come together naturally to make a whisky that is very different, while still giving what makes Springbank enjoyable.

While this is not my favourite Springbank, it is probably one of the more unusual, and considering some of the odd oak casks Springbank has been aged in, that says something. It is not that it is radically showy, just that the elements come together for a very different experience – an almost marshmallow like backed Springbank thing of joy. Enjoy it if you can.

Background: As mentioned in the notes I tried this at an Uber whisky tasting at Independent Spirit and was very impressed – so was at least confident that I was going to enjoy this one when I got home. Springbank is from one of only three distilleries in Campbeltown and is probably my favourite (Though I am unsure if the Springbank set, or the more peated Longrow expressions are the best the distillery turns out). This one is, as the name would suggest, purely aged in Bourbon casks which should give quite a different character. Continuing recent efforts to break out classic tunes when drinking – put on some Jack Off Jill – Sexless Demons and Scars. Such a great, angry and powerful album.

Springbank: 25 Year (Scottish Campbeltown Single Malt Whisky: 25 Year: 46% ABV)

Visual: Yellow gold.

Viscosity: Mix of fast and thin streaks with some puckering from the spirit.

Nose: Strawberry. Peach melba. Quince rakia. Smooth. Tinned tropical fruit. Mandarin orange. Marzipan. Water makes floral with lots of red berries and caramel.

Body: Smooth. Mandarin orange. Marzipan. Slightly light. Dry. Water adds custard and makes feel thicker. Dry raisins. Peach. Red berries and grapes. Spiced raisins. Light grassiness. Custard and sherry trifle.

Finish: Malt chocolate. Raisins. Smooth. Light menthol and orange juice. Light grapes. Dry rum. Water adds fudge, red berries, dry Thai seven spice and a light grassiness.

Conclusion: Old whisky tends to feel very smooth, but can also feel kind of light. This can be a shock to people who have not had aged whisky before and expect it to burst with flavour from the first moment. Generally I find you need to take your rime with it, let it fill the air inside your mouth and seep into the taste-buds – that is when they get going. Basically that is what you get with this.

The aroma is complex though – it is that which tells you what to look for in the body, what may come out if you give it time and attention. It bursts with all the levels of notes that you could hope for – rich red fruit, peach melba, orange notes. There is so much going on, and while the body doesn’t quite ever match this amazing aroma – if you ever find a whisky that does – then you will have one of the all time greats.

Therefore, initially as indicated before, the first sip may seem a bit of a let down. It is quite light, and may vanish fast leaving marzipan sweetness, and hints of light fruit. Be prepared though, take your time, and add no more than a drop of water and you will be ready ( lots of people avoided adding that drop of water- feeling it didn’t need it at this age. I found it actually made the whisky a tad thicker, and really opened it up. So I would recommend trying at least before you finish the whisky – but no more than a drop). You get dryer notes coming with that – light dry raisins and sherry spice – now it is good, not exceptional but good – spicy grounding below the fruit notes. Take your time and slowly much more red fruit develops – now you get most of the notes hinted by the aroma, the fruit burst, before that leads out into dry spiced rum and raisins in the finish.

Time again like the water, gives this more body somehow – slight stewed fruit notes, and a more solid, less shimmery light take to the marzipan. This really is one to take as long as you can with.

This is very different to the standard Springbank – there is only a light grassiness, most of that style is lost – and very little of the subtle smoke that the whisky usually trades on. Instead you get a lot more influence from the oak – it keeps hints of the Springbank style, but is drier, and much fruitier with spicy depth. Very nice – very subtle and complex. Not worth the 350 odd quid price, but very nice.

Background: As a huge Campbeltown, and by that I generally mean Springbank, fan (There are a total of three Distilleries there now) I was very much happy to hear that this was part of the Uber whisky tasting at Independent Spirit. This spirit was aged in Sherry and Bourbon casks, much as you would expect, then merged together in refill Port casks. Which is less expected, but very awesome. This is one of only 900 bottles releases in 2017. Again, I know how lucky I was to get to try this. Anyway, as always for these events – I was doing my notes in a social environment, with five strong whiskies back to back – my notes may be affected by other peoples thoughts, the drunkenness, and the other whisky I had. However, as before, for trying five expensive and rare whiskies like this I could hardly miss the chance to do some notes. Hope they are ok by you.

Springbank: Local Barley: 11 Year (Campbeltown Single Malt Whisky: 11 Years: 53.1% ABV)

Visual: Pale gold.

Viscosity: Mix of slow puckering and fast streaks.

Nose: Peat smoke. Wheat field. Vanilla. Slight grapes. Slight sour character. Buttery shortbread. Sulphur touch. Menthol. Water brings more sour fruits.

Body: Slight sour grapes, alcohol touch. Vanilla toffee. Oily. Water brings slight caramel, lightly grassy character. Apples and peppery character.

Finish: Floral air. Strong alcohol. Quince rakia. Slight white wine. Vanilla. Light oily nuts. Malt chocolate and toffee. Dry Madeira. Water gives a menthol air, smoke and apples. Drying notes.

Conclusion: This is very unusual for a Springbank. It does have the grassy character, the slight smoke – it is identifiable as a Springbank. However it is unusual in that it has a slightly sour, kind of fresh taste to it. It reminds me a bit of quince rakia, and it it makes it a fresher, less heavy base that gives this an entirely different feel overall.

Into that freshness is a light vanilla sweetness – the two interact interestingly with those aforementioned Springbank core elements – the grassiness isn’t very pronounced, instead giving a slight solid grounding to what is actually a quite clean feeling spirit. Also, in that clean spirit some of the younger spirit flavours – apples and green fruits, but delivered in a smooth aged whisky style. It even has a slight menthol freshness mixing in with unusual base, resulting a a minty touched mouth tingling feel overall.

It really does emphasis that unusual base – sour grapes touched and tingling. I would call it unique, except I actually have a recent reference point – this feels like a single malt equivalent to the 40 year Timorous Beastie that confused me so much at the last Uber tasting. This isn’t as complex, but is heavier and thicker – however they both show the same unusual tart mouthfeel.

I find this more an interesting experience than an awesome standout whisky, so it isn’t the best of the Springbank range – however it still shows the Springbank quality and is very good. One I’d say to definitely try if you get the chance, but hard to justify grabbing a full bottle of.

Background: Second of the whiskies I tried at the second Uber Whisky tastings that Independent Spirit have done this year. I am a huge fan of Springbank, so this was one I really looked forwards to. This is the second release of “Local barley”, whisky made with barley from local farms (in this case Bere barley from Aros Farm). The first release was a 16 year, this one is 11 year and one of approximately 9000 bottles. Anyway, as always for these events – I was doing my notes in a social environment, with five strong whiskies back to back – my notes may be affected by other peoples thoughts, the drunkenness, and the other whisky I had. However, as before, for trying five expensive and rare whiskies like this I could hardly miss the chance to do some notes. Hope they are ok by you.

Longrow Red (2015 Ed - Pinot Noir Finish)

Longrow: Red (2015 Ed – Pinot Noir Finish) (Scottish Campbeltown Single malt Whisky: 12 year: 52.9% ABV)

Visual: Rose wine to mahogany red.

Viscosity: Fast middle thickness streaks.

Nose: Peaty. Light cherryaid. Burnt caramel. Shortbread. Water makes sulphur like, and more water brings out rose wine.

Body: Smooth. Glacier cherry. Beef broth. Alcohol tingle if held on tongue. Cherryaid. Rose wine. Thick. Treacle notes. Water adds sugared orange peel, red grapes, and seven spice. More cherryaid comes out. More water brings out more cherries and adds some vanilla.

Finish: Dried beef slices. Mixed spice. Red grapes. Dry. Light vanilla custard. Blackcurrants or blackcurrant jam. Water makes more spicy. Malt chocolate, smoke and toffee.

Conclusion: People give me evil looks when I say this has cherryaid notes. Maybe I am lacking in cooth to dare say such things. But, seriously, they are there – I’m guessing it is the unusual side of the Pinot Noir influence. They are there neat and become much more evident with water. So, cherryaid, is this a good or a bad thing?

Well, it is an odd thing. The traditional peaty, dried beef character of Longrow comes right up against artificial sugar drinks with deep red spicy grapes in the middle keeping the two opposite poles apart. Definitely not your traditional whisky experience.

Id say the sweetness is probably so prominently in my mind as it such a contrast to the rest of the whisky. It probably isn’t as sweet as I am imagining it, but in relation to the heavy peat whisky it sits within it seems very big.

The sweetness is the outlier though, so it is probably more helpful to examine the rest of the whisky. The deep spicy blackcurrant and red grapes suits the peaty character nicely, taking it into dark rich depths. It definitely suits water as well. While the whisky is smooth neat, if burning if held too long, water opens it up and lets you hold it and take your time to examine the flavours at your leisure. Water also lets out the soft toffee which acts as a more well balances sweetness than the more cherryaid notes in the neat expression, it sooths rather than stands out from the main whisky.

There still is the sweet cherryaid notes but they are better integrated. It never quite reaches the height of awesome that the gaja barolo aged Longgrow, but it definitely has depth to it. Probably has a lot of elements that some people think whisky should not be, especially a peated whisky, but it is fun and different and deep.

and cherryaid.

Background: I tried this a while back at the Bristol Whisky Show, so was keeping an eye out for it getting released. Still nearly missed it, thankfully Robbie’s Whisky Merchants still had some in – Chris from Independent Spirit point them out to me – many thanks! This was finished in New Zealand Pinot Noir casks for one year after 11 years in bourbon casks and is one of 9000 bottles. Drunk while listening to some Dirty Knobs for atmosphere.

Cambeltown Loch 21

Springbank: Campbeltown Loch 21 Year (Scottish Blended Campbeltown Whisky: 21 Years: 46% ABV)

Visual: Light yellow to grain.

Viscosity: Very slow thick streaks.

Nose: Clear lemon and heather. Vanilla. Husked grain. Water brings out a grassy character.

Body: Smooth. Spritzer undertone. Grassy. Some fire. Toffee. Water soothes the fire, adds custard sweetness, more grass and heather. Light smoke.

Finish: Warming and oaken. Malt drink touch. grassy. Fudge. Water builds fudge up, adds light rocks and light meat broth. Kaffir lime. Slight sprizty touch.

Conclusion: You know, I try to be an open minded fellow – I really do. I would even like to think I do ok at it – but it some ways I am old fashioned. For example I am generally a single malt guy. I have enjoyed vatted malts, blended whisky and single grain – but my go to is single malt. So I was interested, if a tad wary at a mix of single malt and single grain.

Now first impressions didn’t help here – it opened smooth, but quickly became fiery and the finish was mainly oaken. Of course, grain’s best friend is water, and so I held back final decision until I could add water.

It turns out they are still best buds.

Water really brings out the grassy Springbank character backed here by a smoother toffee and vanilla character than most Campbeltowns – which, based on experience, may be the influence of the Girvan Single Grain. With a bit more water you even get some smoke and a meaty broth character in the finish – which is why I guess it was Springbank used – the slightly peated malt I’m thinking.

Here, with the water, it is like a smoother and sweeter Springbank 10, which is the closest comparison. It benefits from light citrus notes added top and tail, very light as the main character is very recognise grassy Springbank.

As a single malt fan I will say I prefer the Springbank 15, but this is a very nice balance between the strengths of both grain and malt, with the sweetness making it more easy drinking than usual. So on personal preference I go with the 15, but is down to just that, the personal preference. They are both very proficient expressions.

Background: Saw this at Brewdog Bristol and was intrigued. It is a mix of 60% Single Malt (I presume Springbank) and 40% Single Grain (Girvan). At 21 years it is a very interesting expression. So, as an utter Springbank nut, I of course gave it a go. Thanks to the staff who helped out with the info on this one when I asked.

Longrow 10

Longrow: 10 Year: 1995 (Scottish Campbeltown Single Malt Whisky: 10 Years: 46% ABV)

Visual: Custard gold.

Viscosity: Moderate speed and thickness streaks.

Nose; Peat smoke. Pencil shavings. Beef slices. Oak. Water lightens to sulphur and grass.

Body: Lime jelly. Peat. Smoke and oak. Dried beef. Peppercorn. Custard sweetness. Crusty brown bread. Warming. Water makes broth like and grassy. Slight crème brulee balance against the peat. Malt chocolate.

Finish: Peppercorn. Beef slices. Light custard cream biscuits. Malt chocolate. Paprika touch. Water makes grassy, wet rocks and salt.

Conclusion: In a right and fair world I could just say “Springbank. 10 Year. But Peatier” However this is not a right and fair world. Or, more correctly, I get the feeling most of you lot would think I was cheating. So, let’s give this a go.

Taken neat, it is pretty much the essential character of a peated whisky. Smoke, beef character, light sweetness and warming. It has its own peppercorn flourish, but really it shows mainly the base element of how to make a peated whisky. It is warming but not burning, rough edged but not harsh. The additional element of the peppercorn is lovely though, that touch of spiciness, but slightly grounded. It complements the beefy main dish of the whisky.

Where it shows that Campbeltown style is when you add water. That Springbank grassiness comes out, and a touch of brown sugar or crème brulee sweetness shows deep beneath the smoke. It’s the old friend of Springbank showing it’s head. You now have a rustic, grassy character, as defining for Campbeltown as Islay has its iodine and salt sea breeze, but here in peated joy.

As everyone know, I love Springbank, and I love peat, so this is right up my street. For old times sake I have to give the nod to Springbank over this, but frankly they are both wonderful complex, warming and welcoming whisky. Try one, the other, or both, you are never let down.

Background: At the time I took the photo of this bottle I thought the 1995 labelling as a bit odd, as that would have been bottled near ten years ago. Looking online it seems to be a thing, I’ve seen a few specifically 1995 bottlings. Anyway, Longrow is Springbank’s more peaty bottling. I found this at Brewdog Bristol and used it to round off a short session.

Springbank 12
Springbank: 12 Year: Cask Strength (Scottish Campbeltown Single Malt Whisky:12 Years: 50.3% ABV)

Visual: Custard gold.

Viscosity: slow thin streaks.

Nose: Raisins. Dry shortbread. Prunes. Stewed fruit. Water adds a familiar grassy character.

Body: Thick. Treacle. Burning warmth. Raisins and sultanas. Vanilla toffee. Charred oak. Plums. Water adds fudge, grassy character, fruitcake and apples.

Finish: Warming. malt drinks. Chocolate liquore and plums. Water makes grassy, adds liquorice and charred oak.

Conclusion: This thing is thick. Initially it was almost treacle textured as you sip it, and warming on the tongue with it. The flavours were completely unexpected based on my previous experience of Springbank – fruity and robust with a mix of stewed fruit and prune notes. Despite the warmth it had a sweetness to it, but very weighty in how everything was delivered. It is lovely but nigh unrecognisable as a Springbank.

A touch of water doesn’t disperse the dark fruit, or that very distinctive feel that says “whisky”, but it does bring out that familiar, slightly grassy character that I always associate with Springbank. The sweetness becomes better defined as a sweet fudge, and the dark fruit does alter, it mellows to be notes in the mid range rather than up front. Here you an detect a restrained amount of peat that had previously been hidden by the sheer weight of the neat whisky.

The finish is long lasting, with charred oak, dark fruit and that aforementioned distinctive “whisky” character. I’ve been writing notes for a while now, intermixed with reading a bit of “A dance with dragons” and I can still taste my last sip.

More water mellows the warmth but the flavour never loses its weight, mixing that raw heavy stewed fruit with *ahem* lighter Springbank house character.

Frankly the whisky can take an extraordinary amount of water, it has about a quarter higher abv, but can take about double the water, each addition adding an extra layer as it tends towards the grassy and peated base.

While a huge whisky, for me, it is that bit too heavy to be a favourite, even with water it feels huge. This does not make it bad, oh no I like a good heavy whisky, but it is a styling that seems odd in contrast to the lighter notes.

However it is a wonder of exploration, and of sheer range, for which it is a fascinating choice. I would probably not grab a bottle, but every now and then it would be nice to settle down with a double and just re-examine it.

Background: Springbank was the first Campbeltown whisky I tried, and is still a favourite. There are only three remaining Distilleries in Campbeltown: Glen Scotia, Springbank (Who make Springbank, Hazelburn and Longrow) and Glengyle which makes Kilkerran (Which is owned by Springbank). Despite the small variety they are still a great whisky region. All this is to say, when I saw a cask strength Springbank it was definitely time to give it a try. As you can see I had THE WORLDS TINIEST WHISKY GLASS. (Disclaimer: Probably not the worlds tiniest. Some hyperbole may be in use) It was actually kind of fun to use.

Hazleburn CV

Hazelburn CV (Scottish Campbeltown Single Malt Whisky: No age statement: 46%)

Visual: Banana gold.

Viscosity: Very slow puckering.

Nose: Stewed banana. Grain fields. Honey. Some alcohol prickle. Water emphasizes grain fields and brings out lime.

Body: Banana. Honey. Lime. Very smooth texture. Some alcohol feel. Moderate oak and charring. Custard. Much more honeyed with water. Light grassy character. Beef slices at back.

Finish: Lime. Digestives. Alcohol feel. Custard. Honey comes out with water along with some milky chocolate Light beef crisps and beef slices. Grassy. Toffee. Paprika.

Conclusion: So, Springbank without the peat? How does that work? Very smoothly as it turns out. The texture is light and slick, there is some alcohol presence but it is easy dimmed with but a little water. The flavours are very smooth and sweet with lots of honey and a touch of custard. Simply relaxing.

What is interesting is that it turns out that not all of that Springbank character comes from the peat, with water there is a similar grassiness and dried beef notes here as in Springbank. The beef especially is a note I would normally associate with the peat, yet they are here, lightly but present. They are welcome small backing notes to the soothing spirit.

The aroma does suffer a bit on this one, very light and doesn’t give you much to draw you in. However the body does give plenty to compensate for that. Finally the finish smoothes out into milky chocolate and honey, still keeping that grassy touch which makes for a good capstone.

It isn’t the most complex spirit, but is far from dull. For my money I prefer the extra weight the Springbank expression brings over this ones easy sipping character, but it is a matter of taste and this one does do what it does well.

An easygoing introduction to Campbeltown.

Background: I’ve finally reviewed the holy triumvate of Springbank. Longrow – their heavily peated whisky, Springbank – their standard expression, and this, the unpeated triple distilled edition. Since there are only three meaning distilleries within Campbeltown it is a triumvate within a triumvate. Which probably has some weird mystical importance. Anyway, I am a big fan of the distillery, so was good to grab a measure of this. Again I seem to have blurred the photo for this. I have less than leet skills here.

Springbank: 10 Year (Scotland Campbeltown Single Malt Whisky:10 Years: 46% ABV)

Visual: Pale grain gold.

Viscosity: Quite fast mixed thick streaks.

Nose: Mud, grass and slightly oily. Peat. Dried beef, or maybe cured ham actually. Sulphur – egg. Lightens with water.

Body: Oak. Syrup. Malt loaf. Light custard. Dried beef jerky. Peat. Tiny touch of salt.  Milk chocolate. Very potent. Oily. Grassy. Water makes grassier and more open. Adds slight raisins but apart from that doesn’t alter the flavours much.

Finish: Smoke. Dry. Touch of salted beef.  Touch of bitter chocolate. Lightly grassy. Black cherry hints. Water makes more chocolate and grass but doesn’t hide the smoke. Slight plum and spice comes out here.

Conclusion:  My old friend. Springbank 10. How has it taken so long for me to get around to doing a review of it? Ok, yes that pretty much gives away that this is going to be a positive review doesn’t it?

Well frankly that fits the whisky. From the first you can tell it is going to be good. A grassy dry character with peat and sulphur. Lots of hints of what would usually be Island or Islay characteristics balanced with nuance and care. These normally challenging characteristic show themselves in a restrained yet highly aromatic front that give a hint of what is to come.

The body comes in forcefully. Dried beef and lets loose with all the elements the nose promised. Sweet syrup and chocolate touches mesh with the massive front of those aroma promised characteristics and lead into a smoke finish.  There is a distinct grassy style that I would normally associate with lighter whiskys rather than this booming beast.

Sweet and smoky, grassy and peaty. Oily into a dry finish. It is a juggling act of flavours. In fact it is odd that adding water does so little to expand it. Possibly it’s because it managed to present so much already up front. Water adds  a touch of spice and dark fruit while quelling the fire somewhat, but generally the water just allows the main characteristics to roam better.

It is a challenging whisky, and thus not for all. It is not challenging like the heavier Islays where one or two elements are pushed to the extreme. It is however forthright, robust and thick textured and while restrained more than Islay it does not compromise on the depth of the peat and smoke flavour.

All in all an old favourite of great depth and intensity.

Background: Campbeltown. I first encountered the name when reading  Aeneas Macdonald’s book “Whisky” in which he described the Campbeltowns as “The double basses of the whisky orchestra”. So as soon as I could I hunted down a bottle of Campbeltown  whisky to try. I sometimes wondered what would have happened if I had found Glen Scotia first, but thankfully I did not, I found Springbank and thus a love of the region was born.  There are very few Distilleries in the area now. Glen Scotia, and Springbank who turn out Springbank Hazelburn and Longrow. Springbank also own the third distillery of the area who make the new Kilkerran whisky.  This particular bottle was a luck find, It was at a local supermarket for a ridiculously low price. When I asked why it turns out it was an end of line bottle that they had to get rid of, so despite being perfectly fine spirit, they sold for a knock down price. I of course bought it. While drinking this I listened to the album “The Silent Enigma” by Anathema. It seemed somehow appropriate.

Springbank 15

Springbank 15 Year (Campbeltown Scottish Single Malt Whisky:15 Years: 46% ABV)

Visual: Dark bronzed gold.

Viscosity: Quite a few thick streaks, moderate speed.

Nose: Madeira. Raisins. Grassy. Caramel. Light smoke and a touch of salt. Brown sugar. Peat. Stewed fruit. Water adds vanilla notes.

Body: Smooth. Stewed apricot. Vanilla. Madeira soaked raisins. Grassy. Light oak. Water adds toffee and more vanilla. Light spice. Light cherries and treacle.

Finish: Light oak. Grassy. Smoke. Water adds raisins, Madeira and brandy cream.

Conclusion: Why, hello again Springbank 15, a full measure this time you say? A full double in fact for delectation? Oh my.

With more time to examine this whisky, I find it to be a real full bodied feast, yet you still have that native grassy Springbank character. What comes out more, however, is deep stewed fruit and Madeira notes – you get a huge chunk of dark fruit complexity, and slow subtle layers of spirit and wine influence. It all combines to crate an appropriately timed Christmas feeling delight of a whisky. Everything that was hinted at in the tiny sample I had before is now magnified at least tenfold.

You have but to breath open mouthed over the glass to get vanilla toffee and brandy cream rising up. You have but to sip to add peat and grass to that, a lovely mix of slid base and sweet ageing.

This the slightly salted and smoked whisky that manages simultaneously to be a Christmas pudding accompaniment to said whisky. An absolutely lovely, rich, layered and complex whisky. A brilliant dram to let slip back and warm you with strength and flavour.

Background: I have previously reviewed this at a whisky show (Original review left below) – however as a Christmas gift my parents gave me a miniature which gave me a chance to give it a proper going over, so I decided to do a full review. Hope you enjoy.

Springbank 15 Year (Campbeltown Scottish Single Malt Whisky:15 Years: 46% ABV)

(Note: Due to being tried at the whisky show, these were smaller measures done in a packed and friendly social environment, so are not as full notes as normal, however the chance to tasting note such a range of high quality whiskies was not to be missed)

Visual: Light clear gold.
Viscosity: A few thick slow trails.

Nose: Light peat and smoke with grass blended in. Quite meaty and almost chewable. Field and hay touches, rounded off with full oak and a touch of old books.

Body: Surprisingly sweet with a touch of honey mixing with the lightly done peat. Then smoke and syrup intertwined. Roast beef again and a slight salt touch.

Finish: Grassy, with a touch of charring. Light grain into growing peat and then smoke mixes in alongside bitter chocolate.

Conclusion: A smooth extension of the already complex Springbank style. The main body is similar done to its younger cousin, but smoothes out remarkably.  This is most notable in the delicious chocolate finish that adds a remarkable bitter touch which complements the smoother main body.  I always liked the grassy, yet balanced peat and salt from the Springbanks and this places a decent richness on top. I have the feeling I’m going to have to get a full bottle at some point to give it a proper range of experimenting.

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