Notes by member Tamara Maurer.
Campbeltown Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Aged: 19 years
Distilled on: May 1997
Bottled on: May 2016
Matured in: Sherry Cask
Our purchase price: $390 CAN
Club rating: 4.01/5
When I saw this rare Springbank sitting on a dusty shelf in a private liquor dealer in Santa Monica California, there was no doubt that it would be one of the bottles I lugged back to Ontario.
Such a treat to have this as part of the collection. When I finally found an occasion to crack it open 3 years after nervously standing at the luggage carousel praying it made the journey unharmed, it did not disappoint. A beautiful colour (the last of a dying sunset over Lake Huron under a cloudless sky? Too much?) with no colour additives per Springbank’s usual practice, this whisky could have been a song of sweetness, but is muted due to its high alcohol content, at 55.6%. With an unmistakable sherry influence, this gem is genuinely unique, mixing vanilla sweetness with the saltiness of the Campbeltown sea influence. Peppery and spicy, with nothing floral or too funky.
Pure elegance, in a quirky way that is so, so Springbank.
(Note: we did sample this whisky with and without a drop of water, as recommended by past reviewers. It made a significant impact on the palate, becoming much creamier tasting with the water, with a stronger sherry punch. The club seemed to prefer it with water overall).
(Note 2: Although not a fair inclusion in a review of the whisky itself, I will add that my one criticism of this whisky is its packaging. Springbank continues to bottle its whisky in a decidedly “oldschool” fashion. Although I enjoy the love of tradition, this particular bottle should have packaging to match its specialness, rather than a nondescript bottle with a flimsy open cardboard box)