Springbank 18yo

Continuing on with my reviews, and as I seem to be on a bit of an 18yo kick at the moment, we move from Islay to Campbeltown for my thoughts on the Springbank 18yo. This whisky is matured in a mix of bourbon and sherry casks.

Springbank_18_The Smoky DramWhisky: Springbank 18yo, 46% ABV (Cost around R1300)

Region: Campbeltown, Scotland

Style: Single Malt

Age: 18 years


Springbank Distillery is the only distillery in Scotland to carry out the full production process on the one site. 100% of the traditional floor malting, maturation and bottling is done at the distillery in Campbeltown.

Even the peat used to dry the malt is cut within a few miles of the distillery by the company itself. Springbank is produced using lightly-peated barley (around 15ppm) and a unique two-and-a-half-times distillation (most single malts are only distilled twice) process.


Colour: Old gold with many thick legs.

Nose: Rich and powerful with some soft, peaty smoke upfront. A charming vanilla sweetness follows and grows into nutty (almonds) and sweet berry fruit (strawberries and blueberries) notes. I also pick up some marzipan, dried fruit, spices and a hint of savouriness. A gentle, fragrant and balanced nose in which the complexity increases with time in the glass.

Palate: Well balanced, complex and full bodied with a lovely thick and oily mouth feel. Nice spicy burn (tip of tongue) greets you before some mellow smokiness, liquorice and aniseed leads you further in. Zesty with some salt and pepper like spiciness. All this is backed up by some honeyed and rich fruit (citrus mostly).

Finish: Fairly long with chocolate and sweet spices and a soft smokiness to the end.

Overall: A very drinkable dram that is not only powerful and complex, but backed by some lovely rich and gentler notes as well. I loved the back and forth between the sweet and spicy notes.

My Score: 87

Springbank 10yo

Moving on to the Campbeltown region in Scotland for the first time (but not the last) for my next review for my seemingly themed 10 year old run of reviews at the moment. The Springbank 10yo is matured in a mix of casks – 60% bourbon and 40% sherry cask.

Springbank_10_The Smoky DramWhisky: Springbank 10yo, 46% ABV(Cost around R550)

Region: Campbeltown, Scotland

Style: Single Malt

Age: 10 years

Springbank Distillery is unique as it is the oldest independent family owned distillery in Scotland. Founded in 1828 on the site of Archibald Mitchell’s illicit still, the Springbank Distillery is now in the hands of his great great great grandson, Hedley G. Wright. Furthermore, Springbank is the only distillery in Scotland to carry out the full production process on the one site. 100% of the traditional floor malting, maturation and bottling is done at the distillery in Campbeltown.

Campbeltown is one of Scotland’s four recognised whisky-producing regions and is situated on the Mull of Kintyre, some 240 km from Glasgow. There were also no less than 37 distilleries established here during the 19th century, earning the town the nickname “The Whisky Capital of the World”. By 1925, with the closing of Reichlachan Distillery, Springbank and Glen Scotia were the only distilleries left. The opening of Mitchells Glengyle Distillery on 25th March 2004 increased the number of distilleries in Campbeltown to three, allowing the town to legitimately reclaim its place amongst the great whisky producing regions.

Colour: Deep gold to amber.

Nose: A sweet nose with vanilla and sweet well rounded fruit (pears and peaches). Has a dry, barley oakiness with an earthiness to it. There is also a slight mention of peaty smoke with some soft salty sea air thrown in for good measure.

Palate: Fresh, zesty and spicy (mostly cinnamon, pepper and nutmeg). Get a spicy bite on the front and sides of tongue with malt at the back of the mouth. In background get some of the vanilla sweetness from the nose. Palate really coats your tongue.

Body: Full bodied with many thick legs.

Finish: The finish is sweetish with a long and lingering spicy bite on tongue with a trace of peat smokiness.

Overall: A complex whisky that is fresh and bracing with some lovely softness to it as well. It is a fairly approachable whisky with a wonderful spicy tongue coating mouth feel.

My Score: 86