Thursday, January 2, 2014

002 - Springbank 15 - or...Does every bottle tell a story?

I got this bottle in late Sept or early Oct of 2011 and I took it our on our trip to Evergreen Lodge near Yosemite. It was my wedding anniversary and my wife and I both like Scotch and wanted to have something good to enjoy in front of the fire while reading a good book. It snowed while we were there so the bottle did get used.

Compared to the Highland Park 21 of yesterday's post, this is a very different dram. It's from practically the opposite corner of Scotland. If you've heard of any whisky from Campbeltown, Springbank is probably that whisky. The 15-year-old expression is a relatively mid-priced choice that represents the style of the distillery very well.

The Campbeltown region, broadly covering the Kintyre peninsula, is one of the 5 official Scotch whisky regions. Though Campbeltown has few distilleries today, in the past it had dozens. Whisky from this region is characterized by briny iodine notes overlaid with peat smoke (not to the same degree as some Islay whiskies, which is another of the 5 recognized Scotch whisky regions, and which is quite close to Campbeltown, as the crow flies).

To my limited nose and tongue, Springbank 15 had some oak notes, primarily tanned leather, and the darker berries/fruits or fruitcake that confirms its stay in Sherry casks. There is also a roughness that I quite like, along with a mouth-watering astringency. With all that said, it's also got sweetness in there which nicely complements the rest of the flavors and helps tie everything together. I think this is an excellent dram to nurse for hours, as it will keep revealing new aspects of itself over time. Recommended.

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