This week I celebrate reaching my 100th review on WhiskyReviews.net and I felt that I should mark the occasion with a real cracker of a dram. Since I like to focus on the affordable side of whisky however, it seemed appropriate to select the entry level offering from what, for me, is one of the finest distilleries in the land…
Springbank was founded in 1828 when a smuggler named William Reid applied for a distilling licence. Reid found life difficult on the right side of the law however and in 1837 the business was sold to John Mitchell who, along with his son Alexander, accounts for the J&A Mitchell name that still appears on Springbank labelling today.
While Springbank is easily the most successful, it has not always been plain sailing. Back in 1979 all production at the distillery ceased and the future seemed uncertain at best until a new era dawned in 1987 under Hedley Wright, great-great-grandson of John Mitchell. Wright restarted production and halted any supply deals with blenders, choosing instead to focus entirely on the single malt brand. His strategy seems to have paid off, with the Springbank name now commanding fierce loyalty from devoted fans across the world.
In addition to the Springbank single malt, the distillery produces two other brands… Longrow and Hazelburn, but it is the original which commands the most recognition and arguably the most praise.
Springbank 10 year old is bottled at 46%, un-chill filtered and without the use of caramel colouring.
Smell: Coastal nose with Brine and Sea Salt and a touch of Earthy Peat Smoke with Malt and Green Fruits.
Taste: Pepper, Honey and Cereal with Peat Smoke, Sea Salt and Lemon.
Value for Money: Great value at around £35 – £40. You really can’t go wrong at that price.
Overall: 45 / 50. About the scores…
Quite simply, Springbank are one of the strongest in the game and their 10 year old is a strong competitor for the best in its age range.