Springbank, a name that evokes memories of the most unforgettable, gently smoky, incredibly complex drams for many whisky lovers.
Located in Campbeltown, Springbank is the only distillery founded back in the 19th century that is still, to this day, owned by the same family. This is despite having to close its doors between 1979 and 1989 due to the economic downturn.
It is renowned for being a wholly in-house operation, from malting to mashing, from distillation to bottling. The distillery uses traditional floor maltings, which were reopened in 1992 after being closed in 1960. It also sources its barley from local farms.
The Springbank distillery produces three different whiskies. Springbank, profiled here, is produced in a medium-peat style. Longrow is heavily peated, and Hazelburn has no peat. The distillation process here achieves a complex new make spirit and is characterised by slightly oily, smoky and fruity notes. It is powerful and complex, the hallmarks of Springbank.
Springbank’s relatively low production level and reverence from whisky enthusiasts mean that the limited releases can be impossible to find. As well as official distillery releases, there are many sought-after independent bottlings from Cadenhead, Samaroli and Douglas Laing.
The core range includes an 8YO, 10YO and 12YO with annual releases of an 18YO, 21YO and 25YO.
Legendary Springbank Whisky Bottlings:
Springbank 1919 50 Year Old Whisky
Springbank bottled this in the early 70s and from an era where a whisky like this was almost unheard of, only 24 bottles were filled of this single malt, of which there are two distinct bottlings. It sold for £266,200 at auction in 2019. Interestingly, this was bottled at 37.5% abv, meaning that by today’s regulations, it wouldn’t strictly qualify as a whisky. However, a single malt of this age, from this era, produced at Springbank, really is something to behold. The two versions of this single malt are the 1970s rebottling (which sold at the highest amount) and the original pear-shaped bottling.
Springbank Local Barley
Local Barley is an annual release produced from barley Springbank sources in and around Campbeltown. Referred to by Springbank as a ‘grain to glass’ whisky, each year Springbank commissions a local farmer to grow barely specifically for this one-off bottling, which makes each release unique. Production is limited, with the 2022 edition being just 15,000 bottles worldwide. Bottles are currently (Jan 2023) trading at auction for upwards of £325, with the 2021 edition creeping past the £400 mark.
Springbank Whisky Millennium Set
The Millennium was a very special set and released to commemorate the millennium and featured six bottles: one each of 50YO, 45YO, 40YO, 35YO, 30YO and 25YO. The bottles were released between September 1998 and March 2001, with complete sets creating quite a stir when they appear at auction. Sotheby’s last sold a set (complete with miniatures) in November 2021 at £28.6k inc. buyer’s premium.
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