Aged for 19 years in a used sherry cask, 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 whiskey 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 whiskey was so well-regarded that a blender by the name of Johnnie Walker [link: http://caskers.com/product/johnnie-walker-platinum-label-scotch-whisky/] 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. Today, it remains one of only two distilleries in Scotland to perform every step of the whiskey making process — from malting barley to bottling whisky — on the same premises.
After malting and lightly peating the barley (using locally cut peat), Springbank Distillery mills and mashes 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 1100-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 2.5 times (because some of the wash is distilled twice and some is distilled three times, Springbank Whisky is said to be distilled 2.5 times).
Following distillation, the whisky is aged for 19 years in a single cask that was previously used to mature sherry. This sherry cask contributes notes of red plums, berries, dark citrus and caramel to the whisky. In addition, the strong, perennial sea winds along Campbeltown add a hint of salty tang to the whisky as it matures. Following its beautyrest, the whisky is bottled at cask strength without the use of any artificial coloring or chill filtration.
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112.8 (56.4% ABV)
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Aroma of red fruits and berries. Waves of sherry, salty tang, apricots, citrus and honey. Finish is lush and thick, with a touch of tang.