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Springbank

by Gavin D Smith

Springbank Distillery
85 Longrow
Campbeltown
Argyllshire PA28 6ET
Tel: 01586 552085
Fax: 01586 553215

The distillery is situated in the centre of Campbeltown, 130 miles south-west of Glasgow on the A83.
  

Visiting

Springbank is one of the 'must-see' distilleries in Scotland, truly unique in many ways. Tours are friendly and informal, and admission includes a complementary dram in the luxuriously appointed Tasting Room. A retail area offers a wide range of whiskies. Tours are available by appointment, Monday to Friday, April to September. Tickets may be purchased at Cadenhead's Campbeltown Whisky Shop in Bolgam Street. E-mail tours@jandamitchell.com. There is an admission charge.

Heritage

Springbank was the fourteenth distillery to be established in the old 'whisky capital' of Campbeltown, with the first spirit flowing in 1828. It was founded by the Reid family, whose in-laws, the Mitchells, purchased the distillery from them during a period of financial difficulty in 1837. It has remained in the Mitchell family to the present day, and is the oldest family-owned distillery in Scotland. Since 2004, J&A Mitchell & Co Ltd has also owned and operated the nearby Glengyle distillery. Springbank fell victim to the depression of the inter-war years, which decimated Campbeltown's distilling industry, closing in 1926, but unlike most of its rivals, Springbank reopened seven years later. The distillery was also silent from 1979 until 1987, when limited production resumed, followed two years later by a full distilling programme. Despite the overall optimism of the Scotch whisky industry at the time, Springbank again closed temporarily in 2008 in order to allow stocks to fall into line with future sales projections, with production recommencing early in 2009.

Technical

Springbank has one wash still and two 'low wines' stills, and boasts an annual capacity of 750,000 litres of alcohol. The peating levels vary from 12ppm to 55ppm, and both ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry casks are used for maturation. Three distinct types of spirit are produced, namely Springbank (distilled two and a half times), Longrow (heavily-peated and distilled twice) and Hazelburn (unpeated and triple-distilled). Springbank continues to malt its own barley on traditional malting floors and to bottle on site.

The spirit

Medium-bodied, oily, with toffee, spice, coconut and some peat smoke (Springbank).. The principal single malt expressions are Springbank 10 and 15-year-old, 10-year-old 100 Proof, Longrow 10 and 14-year-old, Longrow 10-year-old 100 Proof, Longrow CV, Hazelburn 8-year-old.

  

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