Whisky Tasting: Springbank

I was recently fortunate to be offered a late place a tasting, hosted by the Wright Wine company of Skipton. The Whisky was at this time, relatively unknown to me; Springbank.

Probably one of the oldest independent family owned distillery’s left (well, their website tells me it is), I knew they were the real deal; carrying out all aspects of the process from malting onwards. After this, i knew little, expect for it being a respected dram..

The format for Whisky tasting is great I think. Every one i go to is slightly different – and that’s down to the speaker. They always approach in their own way – be it technical, passionate or simply about the whisky.

For Springbank, Frank McHardy took centre stage and had the floor enthralled. Detailed, amusing, passionate – he offered everything, despite a temperamental laptop.

As with all tastings, we were faced with a fine selection to taste. I’m writing this without my notes, but for those of you not in the know, alongside the Springbank brand, are Longrow, Hazelburn and Kilkerran.

Offered 2 1/2 times distillation (yes, the 1/2 is important) and we sampled 10yo (mainly bourbon casks) as well as (i think) 18yo as well as the wonderfully named Rundlets & Kilderkin.

We sampled the lovely WIP (Work in progress) 3 – well priced at just over £30 and very drinkable.

Double distilled and peated.!

12 yo. Named after one of the old Campbeltown distilleries, this is lighter than Longrow.

There’s far more detail to these than I can offer, but that’s all part of the journey. It goes hazy through conversation, opinion and appreciation.

The end result is a great respect – not just for legends of Whisky such as Frank McHardy, but of Springbank. It’s come as no suprise to me that the Campbeltown area is a recognised whisky producing area in the same way that Lowland, Highland, Islay etc are..

And as for whisky tasting – just look at the list above. Well worth it.

Excellent stuff.

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