Aged for nine years in used bourbon casks, this whisky is finished in claret (Bordeaux) casks for an additional three years.
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 aged in used bourbon casks. 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. After aging in bourbon casks for nine years, this Springbank Whisky is double-barreled, or finished, in claret (Bordeaux) casks for an additional three years, giving it a beautiful, deep mahogany color (Springbank Distillery does not not use artificial coloring of any kind).
Springbank Whisky has a rich, luscious aroma with notes of dried fruits, caramel and butterscotch. The initial flavors of plums, grapes and berries are underpinned by hints of vanilla, caramel and a touch of salt and give way to a dry, slightly spicy finish.
Only 9,360 bottles of this Springbank 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch have ever been produced, and most have already been consumed. Pick up one of these rare treasures today!
108.8 (54.4% ABV)
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Nose is rich and fruity with hints of butterscotch, caramel, cereal and dried fruits — primarily raisins and prunes. Initially sweet with notes of plum and red berries, underpinned by vanilla caramel and orange peel. Finish is dry and slightly spicy, with a hint of smoke.