Sunday, 20 May 2012

Whisky Discovery #107

Springbank CV NAS (OB, bottled 2011, 46% abv 70cl)
Cambeltown Single Malt Whisky
Circa £35.00 70cl
My official May 2012 addition to my journey Springbank CV
I wanted to add some Campbeltown whisky to my own whisky CV and what better way than starting with the Springbank CV

Campbeltown is one of Scotland's four recognised whisky-producing regions and is situated on the Mull of Kintyre, some 132 miles from Glasgow. I recall reading Richard Paterson's description of his first journey there in his book 'Goodness Nose' Richard travelled there by bus which seemed to take forever. Google Maps tell me it would be a 2 3/4 hour journey by car, and even nowadays a four hour journey by bus.

Cambeltown is a historic Royal Burgh and has been occupied for over 8000 years. Once home to a big fishing fleet, there were also no less than 37 distilleries established here during the 19th century, earning the town the nickname "The Whisky Capital of the World". However by 1925, with the closing of Reichlachan Distillery, Springbank and Glen Scotia were the only distilleries left.

The opening of Mitchells Glengyle Distillery on 25th March 2004 incresed the number of distilleries in Campbeltown to three, allowing the town to legitimately reclaim its place amongst the great whisky producing regions.

The Springbank Distillery is unique. It is the oldest independent family owned distillery in Scotland. Founded in 1828 on the site of Archibald Mitchell's illicit still, the Springbank Distillery is now in the hands of his great great great grand son, Hedley G. Wright.

Springbank is the only distillery in Scotland to carry out the full production process on the one site. 100% of the traditional floor malting, maturation and bottling is done at the distillery in Campbeltown. It therefore produces one of the most hand made whiskies in Scotland, with traditional production methods being used throughout the process, and human involvement at each and every stage.

They proudly claim that it is the only distillery in Scotland to have never chill-filtered, neither do they add any artificial colourings to any of their single malts.

It is the only distillery in Scotland to produce three different single malts, Springbank, Longrow and Hazelburn, using three different production methods.

Springbank CV is the product of a variety of different cask types and sizes, all specially selected by Director of Production Frank McHardy and Distillery Manager Stuart Robertson. Frank and Stuart's years of experience allowed them to choose a range of casks, every one complementing the other to ensure a great whisky with lots of flavour and the classic Springbank style.

What does CV mean? Chairman's Vat? Currriculum vitae? Curvee of Vintages? It means whatever you want it to mean, enjoying the whisky is the most important thing.

So what did I think?

Whether the CV stands for curriculum vitae or Chairman's Vat, I'm not really sure, but I've read it is a vatting of 7, 10 and 14 year old Springbank which has been matured in bourbon casks (approx 70%) sherry casks (approx 25%) and port casks (remainder!)

The nose is a confusing array of aromas at first, and it needed a long time in the glass and plenty of nosing to try and decipher it. Initially there was a 'damp earth' type of aroma, a musty dampness though not unpleasant. after a little while there is a toffee sweetness, and subdued sweet sherry, lots of dried fruit, there's even a hint of mint and liquorice. A drop or two of water seems to calm the nose down a bit and it becomes sweet and fragrant. It's big and full on the palate, with dark brown sugar, very fruity and spicy, with some coastal character too, sherry notes come through along with a depth of oak and spice. A drop or two of water sweetens it again with a creamy mouth feeling. It finishes with the oak developing a spicy peppery feeling, long and even a little smoky.

I'm keen to try more from this distillery and will be looking to compare this against their 10,12 and 15 year old malts (I will secrete a small sample bottle away until the 10 and/or 12 and 15 year olds land on my shelf)

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