Friday, September 27, 2013

Springbank 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky Review:

For the majority of us who are only relatively aware of our options out there when it comes to single malt whiskies, the malts from the Campbeltown region of Scotland are somewhat allusive. Holding more to legends than to real facts, the Campbeltowns could be compared to what the rye whiskey used to be in the western United States during the 1800s, everywhere and in abundance. From the 1800s up until the 1900s the distilleries of Campbeltown were the most prolific whisky producers in the country with a record breaking 28 facilities producing. But due to over investment in the pre-prohibition American whiskey trade, local depression during, and a reputation for poor product throughout, Campbeltowns former glory faded into the past like the ryes of the old west. Only Glen Scotia and Springbank remain. But thankfully they do, because the characteristic dry palate of smoke and salt from a good Campbeltown is part of what makes these malts so exciting.

Specifically, Springbank is a fantastic example of a small size and independent producer. Possibly because of their historical involvement with Campbeltown, Springbank has grown in a way that lies outside the scope of many of the larger producers, always centering towards practices that produce whisky in the “old fashioned” way and not changing how they do things for a larger consumer market. From malting their own barley to bottling their own whisky and employing a local workforce, Springbank offers lessons that all the larger producers can learn from.

As fair warning, I will say that if you have arrived at this review and you have never yourself tried Scotch, or you are still relatively new to the whisky scene, Springbank is not for you. It very well may be a bit difficult to get past. In this section I detail some scotch whiskies that could be very great starters. But by all means, never let me stop you... Shall we continue?

Springbank 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky Review:

Price: Around $45-52 for a 750ml bottle.

Packaging/Labeling: A craft presented bottle where they explain in plain english that they do not use caramel coloring and there is no chill filtration. What we like to see!

Alcoholic Content: 46% abv, 92 proof.

Nose: There is a maturity of the nose, even at 10 years old. Brininess hits your senses first. Sweet butterscotch and cream. Chocolate covered cherries. Salt and pepper spice. Everything you receive in the nose is a real pleaser. A nice complexity that genuinely gets me excited for the tasting. Adding water really brings down the brininess and allows for the subtle fruits to show.

Palate: Large spice arrival. Oily and faint smokiness. Ginger spice, light vanilla and honey, peppers, oak, seaweed. With the non-chill filtration a little addition of water allows for the fruit and black liquorice sweetness on the backend to come to the foreground. Bit of a dry finish.

Conclusion: At 10 years old, I don't know what else I can say. This is a fantastic dram, one that thoroughly invigorates my senses. If this is a tiny inkling of what we are to see with the older Springbank's, it should really get one excited.

Rating: Excellent/Highly Recommended


  1. I've been drinking the 12 year Springbank, and enjoying it greatly. Can you recommend alternatives that are similar? Just for a taste test. Thanks.

    1. I would suggest Talisker 10, Hazelburn 12 Year (from the Springbank distillery), and Bunnahabhain 12. All have a bit of peat, with the Bunnahabhain being a true Islay, but nothing that will blow your socks off.