Aged for twelve years in used sherry casks, this whisky was bottled at cask strength.
Nearly two centuries ago, the town of Campbeltown, located on a narrow peninsula in southwest Scotland, was considered the whisky capital of the world. Passengers arriving by sea at Campbeltown Loch — nestled between Macringan's Point and the rocky island of Davaar — were greeted with the sails and masts of the herring fishing fleet and the smoking chimneys of nearly thirty different distilleries that called Campbeltown home. Two hundred years later, Campbeltown Loch is considerably quieter and only three chimneys continue to billow smoke — each acting as a beacon for an industry that, at one point, dominated the peninsula.
In 1828, Springbank Distillery was founded on the site of Archibald Mitchell's illicit still in Campbeltown. (Today, Mitchell's great-great-great-grandson owns the distillery.) Within ten years, its whisky was so well-regarded that a blender by the name of John Walker purchased 118 gallons of whisky from Springbank at 43 pence a gallon.
By the turn of the century — as worldwide demand for Scotch whisky seemed insatiable — distilleries throughout Scotland began cutting corners and outsourcing parts of the distillation process. Springbank Distillery, however, remained true to its Scottish heritage and today, remains one of only two distilleries in Scotland to perform every step of the whisky making process — from malting barley to bottling whisky — on the same premises.
After malting and lightly peating the barley (using locally cut peat), the distillers at Springbank mill and mash it in cast-iron mash tuns that are nearly a century old. The pure spring water used during the mashing process is sourced from Crosshill Loch, which in turn is fed by springs seeping from the northern slopes of 1,100-foot tall Beinn Ghuilean. After mashing the grains, the wash is slowly fermented over the course of 70 hours — one of the longest fermentation processes in Scotland — before being distilled. Because some of the wash is distilled twice and some is distilled three times, Springbank Whisky is said to be distilled two and a half times.
Following distillation, the whisky is fractionated and matured in fresh sherry hogshead casks (60%) and refill sherry butts (40%). In addition, since Campbeltown is located on a narrow peninsula, the strong, perennial sea winds, warmed by the gulf stream, add a slight hint of saltiness to the whisky as it ages. Following maturation, the whisky is bottled at cask strength.
Springbank 12 Year Old Cask Strength Whisky has a rich, luscious aroma with notes of toffee, caramel and marmalade. The initial flavors of butterscotch, plums and dark fruits give way to a full body with notes of tangerines, milk chocolate and wood spices. The finish is sweet and rich, with a hint of smoke.
Only 9,360 bottles of this Springbank 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch have ever been produced, and most have already been consumed.
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117 (58.5% ABV)
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Rich, luscious aroma with notes of toffee, caramel and marmalade. Flavors of butterscotch, plums and dark fruits give way to a full body with notes of tangerines, milk chocolate and wood spices. Finish is sweet and rich, with a hint of smoke.