Springbank Distillery

Hidden amongst the backstreets of Campbeltown, behind a church, the Springbank distillery buildings have been family owned since 1828, the longest running example in Scotch whisky. They are one of few distilleries who can claim self-sufficiency: all the distillery’s requirements are provided for on site. They malt, distil, mature and bottle in one location – a feat enforced on them when, following the 1980s crash, they were left short on contract fillings, so went back to fundamentals. They ferment for around 100 hours, but end up with a low-strength wash of around 4.5-5% ABV, which gives lots of fruitiness and loads of esters. There are three stills: a direct-fired wash, and two low wines stills. The distillery produces three styles, which are each branded differently: Springbank, Hazelburn and Longrow. Sprinbank itself is distilled 2.5 times: wash giving low wines, low wines giving “feints” and the final mix in the second low wines still is a mix of 20% low wines and 80% feints. It is a hugely characterful, big and complex new make. Very full-bodied and oily, with rich smoke, brine, black olive and sweet fruit, it is a whisky that seems to incorporate all of Scotland.