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Springbank 10 Year Old

Average score from 39 reviews and 131 ratings 86

Springbank 10 Year Old

Product details

  • Brand: Springbank
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 46.0%
  • Age: 10 year old

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Reviewed by @RikS

12 1488/100

Springbank 10 Year Old

As promised (threatened in fact to be more accurate), my humble meandering thoughts over a dram of Springbank 10...

Le couleur -

Freshly cut hay, with a tint of… green!? A tone of gold, ripe wheat waving in the wind. Quite an unusual pantone, yet a lusterous sheen Ok, I was gonna write the whole review in rhyme… … but that’ll take to long. I rescind...

The nose is of freshly cut grass. Honeycomb, in fact beeswax? A whiff of sweet, but not sugary. Hard to pin, quite elusive. Peel of an oven-baked red apple… sweet yet with a sour tang. Maybe it's my lack of experience, but compared to other expressions that are more 'in your face' I really need to close my eyes and concentrate over 3-4 inhalations to be able to pick the nose of this one apart.

The palate. A certain sweetness hits first of all carried through from the nose, but it's not crunchy sugar, or plum, or cake or PX os something that's so easy (for me) to pinpoint. If anything, I'm thinking of air-light caster sugar thrown into the air. It's viscous… not to say oily and thick. Wow, I like this! It invites you to ‘chew’ on it for quite a while, which I'm more than happy to do with this palate. And still, at 46% there's no bite at all, it's just inviting and very round. I could eat this.

The Finish is subtle, yet somehow it lingers on… I think I can perceive a slight taste of metal and minerals, like sucking on a copper 2p coin (not recommended as a general way to pass time). After a while it seems to be transforming into a slightly waxy aftertaste. Hmm... I'm not sure I like that last element. After about 10min of setting down the glass I'm getting a second wave of finish, with wet chewing tobacco. Hey, that was unexpected!

With a drop of water, a clear citrus / fruity component appears in the nose. Maybe even some tangy sourness, like a pomelo. I think I like the nose even more with a drop of water in fact. It's fresh and inviting. On the palate, a drop of water brings out some more powder sugar sweetness on the attack, but it’s not overpowering (I e.g. don't take so well to the sugar-sweetness of Glendronach's younger expressions). The H2O also appears to give it some more alcoholic bite on the attack (which I suppose is rather counter intuitive...? Can lesser alcohol have more bite?). Having added water, I feel it accentuates the waxy element in the finish, almost gives it a drying characteristic… ok, that’s was not so nice. I think I'd like to have my nose and palate with water, but the finish without - thank you, please.

There’s quite a lot to get my head around in this one – I don’t know if one may call a 10 year old ‘complex’, but I have the impression that there's quite a bit to explore in here. Not least do I note that it keeps evolving and rolling on into different guises for quite a bit since a first sip. That's fun! Maybe it's a 'complexity' more reminiscent of a semi-intoxicated dialogue with a teenager full of complicated curiosities and ideas rather than a well traveled alderman of 21 or 30yrs, but who cares - it's still rather enjoyable and inviting.

I bow and politely thank you for encouraging me to get this one. It's a very well invested £41.95 I'd say!

Now this here is some quality rambling!

@MadSingleMalt I’d say it’s more reminiscent of the Valréas lavender fields in early July, but I guess our experiences are different. stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye

@Georgy

This Springbank will start off my next 8 reviews of the whisky I was so fortunate to try at a Moscow Whisky Festival (2017). I am a big fan of the OB Springbank 10, and so I thought I'd try this special one to compare the two.

Nose: you get that original Springbank character right away, but this time with more sweetness. Very balanced, gentle oak, hazelnuts and walnuts, toffee, brown sugar, dried fruit, some spice. If I had more time to spend with it, I'm sure I would get even more specific.

Taste: much more intense in flavor than the standard, big, rounded, syrupy, a touch of salt, spice notes, hints of remote peatiness all based on that nice dried fruit sweetness, even a little walnut bitterness, licorice.

Finish: long with gentle black tea and tobacco.

Overall impression: just like Springbank 10, only better. Why don't they do it every time? Why do you get to try such gems only at whisky events.

But more careful cask selection at the outset can raise the quality of all of the output. Look at Bladnoch under Armstrong. They invested in good casks and the outcome was good.

Of course when you're looking at a magnitude of 1000 x the Bladnoch output, it's hard to find so many good casks. But sometimes leaving the juice in the cask a little longer can help.

I don't want to rag on Springbank. I like their stuff. But in general, and we see this a lot with NAS young stuff, distilleries want to bottle and sell (because they know we'll buy it) as quickly as possible rather than wait for the best time...

@Nozinan But Ken Grier from Macallan said that NAS is all about selecting casks at their peak maturity. And "liberating blenders from shackles of age statements". Do you mean to suggest they are lying ??? I'm shocked !!!

@OdysseusUnbound

Let it breathe. Let me say it again: Let. It. Breathe. This whisky needs time to open up. It's bottled at 46%, so it's strong. It's unchillfiltered and has no caramel colouring, if that kind of thing matters to you.

Nose (undiluted): toffee, dried fruit (raisins?), light smoke, peat, vanilla, pears, leather, citrus (orange?), pine needles in the background. Don't rush this. It's a delightful nose. Take your time.

Palate: this is where Springbank's complexity really shines. Thick, creamy, full-bodied, starting with toffee, smoke, vanilla, developing light peat, floral honey, ginger, ending on cinnamon, biting black pepper and tangy brine. You really want to "chew" this one for 10 seconds or so, to appreciate the complex development it presents. Fantastic.

Finish: Smoke, peat, ginger, pepper, oak, leather, tobacco notes, hints of banana. Breathe and really enjoy the finish.

Adding water to Springbank brought out more sweetness on the nose as well as floral and herbal notes on the palate. (Hints of pine nuts or cashews perhaps?) I was expecting it to be smokier and peatier, but these notes are complimentary and do not dominate the malt the way they do in a Laphroaig or an Ardbeg. This is a very enjoyable malt. After the bottle has been open for a few weeks, the peppery bite calms down a BIT and more sweetness comes through on the finish. It's hard to say anything bad about this expression.

Nice tasting notes @OdysseusUnbound, thanks for posting. I really like Springbank 10, so much going on but also so well balanced. Chewing, as you say, is a must relaxed

Great review. I've been deliberating what my next bottle should be and I think you just solved that problem. Interesting how some whisky needs so much more time to really open up and show their true colours.

@Alexsweden

I appreciate the work being done at Springbank distillery. Small-time, handcrafted and traditional. It is quite unique both in style and in practice. Lets try the 10!

Nose

freshly poured there is a note of fresh paint that dissipates almost instantly. It is a bit waxy but not disturbingly so and it fades away with a bit of time in the open air.

Sweet malt and sour candies like rhubarb. Engine oil and the very faintest whiff of smoke. The smoke is there and it grows more pronounced but takes a long time to do so. It is a dirty smoke, more industrial than maritime.

Palate

It has a mature and powerful arrival. It is not sugary sweet but has a very "dark" sweetness. Dark honey, Dark baking syrup, Demerara sugar. Bitter grape seeds.

With water the arrival turns quite intensely tropical with fruits that develop into very dark sherry raisins and jarred figs in cognac. Almonds. It requires some patience to let this one open up.

Finish

Burnt Tobacco, cigar, Brown sugar, salty and a bit dry. Also the Almonds carries through to a nutty note as it dies away.

I enjoy this whisky, but only buy a bottle about every other year. It has such a different profile from most scotches that I only have an occasional interest in it. That said, everyone should definitely try it. In fact, I think I'm coming up on time for another buy!

Aside from the difference of 2 years and the ABV, is there a significant difference from the profile of the 12 CS?

I would love to try this once, but not sure I need a bottle if I have the 12 CS, not that either are currently available at LCBO...

@markjedi1

Springbank 10 is a Campbeltown classic, right? This is not my first, but it is the most recent bottling that I was able to get my hands on (thanks, Pat!). From 2015. The Springbank 10 was my first encounter with this distillery way back when. I gladly return.

The nose is a nice mix of tropical fruit and vanilla here and peat, jute and sea salt there. Wonderfully waxy.

On the palate, it is immediately spicy and sweet. Nice development of smoke. Intense. The spices on duty are nutmeg, ginger and a pinch of chili. Soft tannins, bit of salt. Again, quite waxy.

The finish is feisty and medium long, in which the sweetness is stalked by the salt, only to die a sweet death in the end.

Springbank 10 remains a little masterpiece and should be in every cabinet.

Thank you for the review! I have an unopened bottle of Springbank 10 at home, I'm really looking forward to opening it and your review makes me quite confident I'll like it.

@hunggar

Here’s Springbank’s 10 year old. It’s my opinion that not all 10-12 year old introductory malts are the best ambassadors for their distilleries. When you’re offering your most affordable, and likely best-selling OB to the world, not only do you need it to be of a certain quality, but you need it to embody the house style. In that context, Springbank’s 10 is right on the mark.

Nose: Lovely balance, and very in tune with the house style, Lemon lozenges, rich barley, hay, ginger, honey, buttermilk, salt, apricot. Inviting.

Palate: Spicy, zesty arrival. Both farmy and tangy. Grass, huge barley, hay, ginger, honey, peppercorn, and vanilla.

Finish: Smoke, peat, manure (in a good way, of course), big vanilla, ginger, anise, brine, light honey, orange zest, apricot, and faint heather. Medium in length.

Thoughts: Zippy and direct. I really like the rich barley. I don’t know why Springbank always takes me to a farm, though. It must be that delicious manure note … and yes, I just said that. It's honest stuff with good core flavours. Not a whisky I’m drawn back to often, nor is it something I would want to drink continuously over the course of an evening. Despite that, I find it very satisfying. Definitely a quality dram, and a fine introduction to house style.

M

I like the fact Springbank in not chill filtered and doesn't contain artificial colouring. Nose: seaweed, sea air, mineral, oranges. Palate: oily mouthfeel, peaty (but not as powerfull as some Islayers), salty, slightly fruity. Finish is smoky, waxy and long. Very well-balanced.

Yes—seaweed AND sea air! I'm tempted to say that Springbank's basic 10 is the definitive Campbeltown malt. Everything else is a variation on this theme.

@Wineandwhiskey

This is my second bottle of Springbank 10 and I am excited about this single malt because for it's price and age it is showing a very good complexity and nice layers with different flavors. Though I have around 20 different whiskies in my cabinet, I find myself thinking about this specific bottle every time a want to enjoy a dram.

Color: Pale amber. No colouring an non chill filtered, like all whiskies should be.

Nose: Toffee, caramel, sea breeze with faint peat and smoke. Palate: Mouth filling and smooth.The salt is present but disappears slowly to pave the path for hazelnuts, caramel and hints of eggnog. Pepper. Briny. Smoke in the background playing second violin. Finish: Long and lingering briny, peppery and salty. Gentle peat and smoke. The smoke, pepper and brine linger. And linger, like they are your new best friends and never want to leave you until you wash them away with another liquid.

If you are still struggling with heavy peated whiskey and want to take your first step from non-peated whisky to the smoky world, try this. If you like a salty whisky, try this. Be aware though that once you have bought a bottle of Springbank 10 you probably will be seduced to drink it dram after dram.

Nice.

"I find myself thinking about this specific bottle every time a want to enjoy a dram." That's how I feel about my Springbanks too. I think it says a lot about the whisky. Actually, I think we all have this experience with various bottles at various times and it's mark of those that really do something special for us.

Good to hear the salt is still in full force. That's been the definitive Campbeltown (or at least, Springbank) flavor in my mind since I first experienced it and it's what I most look for in new bottles. Other than a flat restaurant dram a few months ago, I haven't had the Springbank 10 in years. This sounds like I ought to pick one up.

The salt is definitely still in full force. I don't think you will regret it if you add one to your cabinet. If you do, please let me know how the Springbank 10y has evolved from your perspective.

t

For my first venture into the Springbank range I thought I’d start with the standard 10 year old. Lightly peated and 2 and half times distilled, this is matured 60:40 in bourbon and sherry casks respectively.

Nose - Bonfire smoke, decomposing leaves, humus, hint of mushrooms, pine needles, pine nuts and old leather, brine, sea salt, malt vinegar and cider vinegar, then something light and fruity in the background – lime zest, pickled ginger, Fox’s glacier mints.

Taste - Initially sweet and light, juicy ripe pears, cider vinegar, cooking apples, lime zest, developing into pine needles. Then comes a sweetness of brown sugar and caramel, cooling mint, humbugs, along with a mid-palate peat hit with damp wood, Autumn leaves, before becoming sharp and spicy with pickled ginger, cardamom, mace.

Finish - Slightly sweet and herbal. Loads of cardamom, also nutmeg and cinnamon spice, cedar wood, jasmine tea, earl grey tea, green tea and lots of sea salt.

My wife says “it smells like pirates”. It’s not the most objective tasting note, granted, but I can see where she’s coming from, and I felt it was worthy of a review title! It’s complex and very interesting, just a touch harsh and austere in places, making it not quite the go to whisky in my cabinet that I expected.

“It smells like pirates” - lol - best quote I've heard in a while!

@Pierre_W

Springbank distillery was established in 1828 by the Reid family and is located on the southern Kintyre peninsula. In 1837 it was sold to John and William Mitchell, in-laws of the Reids. In 1897 the distillery was incorporated as J. & A. Mitchell & Company Ltd who still are the owners. The distillery was closed on a number of occasions during its history, such as during both World Wars, between 1926 and 1933, as well as most of the time between 1979 and 1989. In 1992, Springbank decided to restore its floor maltings that had been ceased in 1960. It remains the only distillery in Scotland where the entire process is conducted on site from floor malting to bottling. The current 10-year old expression was first launched in 2000 and is based on a mixture of both bourbon and sherry cask matured whisky.

The nose is lightly smoky at first, then turns quite fruity with pears and apples coming to the fore. Later on there is salt and a hint of lemon.

The palate is medium-bodied, oily and smoky. There are now flavours of black pepper, nuts, and malted barley, followed by a touch of brine. The salty element is back, accompanied by vanilla and cinnamon.

The finish is long and warming. Flavours of brine and vanilla sweetness round this off.

This is an absolutely cracking malt that ticked all the right boxes with me. I liked all its facets: the superbly balanced fruity and smoky nose, the oily and salty palate, as well as the long and sweet finish. A great piece of craftsmanship and a brilliant introduction to the modern Springbank core range!

@PMessinger

Warm sweet fruit and Vanilla loaded thick rich oily / gritty arrival develops a long slow sweet minty mouth coating finish.

@Uisgebetha

A distillery and region which seems misunderstood by many, possibly not helped by Springbank’s plethora of malt styles. I would probably have scored this whisky closer to 85 a few years ago but its grown on me as I’ve got used to the characteristics of the distillery.
The whisky is pale amber in colour which sets off the black label and packaging, I like the bottle shape too.

The nose is impressive and instantly recognisable with this distillery, pine cones and coconuts along with some smoke and vanilla, but the pine dominates.

On the palate its smooth, medium bodied and full of flavour, coconuts and pine again but the pine is less dominant, there are also plenty of tropical fruit flavours. The finish is both sweet and salty with more barley malt flavours coming to the fore.

A whisky for hop heads, maybe? Lotsa pine.

@MaltActivist

Campbeltown, and more importantly Springbank, expressions are always on top of my love list. They have an allure which I can't explain and I love the fact that simply by being creative they can create different spirits from essentially the same equipment.

The Springbank has the distinction of being distilled two and a half times (not two and not three) unlike all other spirits being produced in Scotland.

This one is a 10 year old bottled at 46% and has seen some sherry casks along the way.

Nose: Initially quite malty with strong salt, brine and coastal sea air. The sherry starts to peak through quickly after that. Dark chocolate oranges infused with cardamom and a hint of delicate peat with some brown bread thrown in for good measure.

Palate: Very true to the nose. The chocolate citrus is there but now with over ripe dates and raisins. There is sweet but the savory side is stronger. Cardamom and cinnamon then round off the spicy notes.

Finish: Medium. With salivating oily cinnamon.

This is a very accomplished whisky and serves as a basis for the older geniuses that follow.

R

Compare this review to the last I did a few weeks ago.

Nose: Longrow-style peat, Longrow-style kerosene sweetness, sour caramel, light smoke.

Palate: Kiwi, Longrow-style peat, toffee, brown sugar, light smoke.

Finish: Sea salt, smoke, faint leather, caramel, marshmellow.

This newer Springbank 10 is pleasant but nowhere as interesting as the last one I tasted. Much less complexity and more Longrow characteristics. If I didn't know better, I would think that some Longrow did indeed creep into the bottling I tasted from early 2013.

I'm not positive about the day this whisky was bottled. The bartender at Bar Bar (Mississippi Studios) tonight was fairly uncool, and wouldn't let me look inside the bottle, myself. He did take nearly full bottle into a side room (with more light) and attempted to read the label himself, mostly out of curiosity on his part. I can't imagine the year being wrong, but the day could be wrong. The bartender had one of those personalities that is instantly disagreeable without any conspicuous signs of out and out rudeness.

I was a little disappointed upon arriving that the bottle I had tasted a few weeks ago had been drunk. Perhaps my youtube (the whisky kirk) review was partly to blame. It's gotten quite a few hits in a short amount of time.

R

It seems fitting to write about my favorite reasonably priced whisky for REVIEW 100 ON WHISKY CONNOSR!

That's right, this review is Number One Hundred! It's hard to believe I've written that many reviews for this fine website's review database.

Then again, I harbor a strong passion for scotch whisky, and I rarely find myself short on words (or opinions) . . . so perhaps it's not so surprising that I've broken through the barrier of double digits, pushing onward into realm of Triumph Triples.

Recently, I posted a video on Youtube of a Springbank 10 Year review at Bar Bar (Mississippi Studios) in Portland, Oregon.

Here it is: www.youtube.com/watch

SPRINGBANK 10 YEAR, TASTING NOTES Appearance: Au naturel, no artificial coloring or fake caramel added. NOT CHILL FILTERED. Lovely rich gold hue, not unlike the look of the air in late summer if one find's oneself in northern latitudes when the sun's angles of incidence must past through more and more atmosphere (and, often, more pollution).

Smell: Pine resin, sea salted caramel, old dry sawdust, industrial creosote, slightly phenolic (although not as much as a few years ago), ocean mist, slightly waxy.

Taste: Pleasantly viscous on the tongue, toffee, cardamom (hints almost of ginger), hardwood smoke, and a lovely balance of phenols cradling the sweeter notes on the palate.

Delivery: A gentle embrace of alcohol stimulates the sides, back, and front of the tongue, but not the middle. Mingled in the mix there comes a really slight waxy-lemony note that hangs back and adds definition, tempering the sweetness with just the right amount of faint bitterness to keep it from becoming too cloying and sickly.

Finish: Toffee, delightfully sensuous peat, slight hint of lemon zest, burning oak, burning dried moss, persimmon, wet clay, cracked pepper corns, allspice.

Affect: This particular dram gently lures one into a very comfortable "buzz." I know some would disagree, but I do feel that different whiskies (and types of alcohol) "feel" different in the system. My predominantly Northern European constitution purrs happily on a few drams of Springbank 10.

Condition/age of exposed whisky: there were two fingers left in the bottle, so it was quite oxygenated, to be sure. Bar Bar most likely does not sell a great deal of Springbank because it is a brand of scotch that is not well known (and under appreciated) in Portland, Oregon, USA--a city which, incidentally, drinks a great deal of Ardbeg scotches of all sorts. Yes, Portlanders are not "whisky heathen" by any stretch, but they are woefully ignorant of The Power and the Glory that is Springbank! Then again, in all fairness, the crowd at Bar Bar is fairly young to understand good whisky beyond a few simply recognizable brand names and monikers.

A WORD ON BOTTLING CODES Lately, I've discovered that year/day info on bottling can be seen relatively easily on the Springbanks. It's hand stamped on the back of the front label. Peer through the bottle to see the date stamp. The bottle that I have just reviewed was stamped as follows: "12 / 142." This means it was bottled on the 142nd day of 2012.

HISTORICAL REFERENCE So, how does a mid-2012 bottling compare with earlier bottlings of the Springbank 10, particularly circa 2009?

Well, the bottle I tasted has a bit less "wet wool" and a bit less of what one might call "farmy" characteristics. Still, an amazing bargain in most stores, and a really fine ten year. I sincerely hope that Springbank distillery keeps up the tradition of making a quality ten year offering.

Just to attest to how fanatical I have become, yesterday, I drove all over Portland (visiting six liquor stores over two hour's time) to locate a 2012 bottling. My persistence paid off: I was able to find two bottles that were bottled on the precise day and year as the one that I tasted at Bar Bar on Mississippi Ave. Persistence sometimes does pay off! Thank you, 2012 / 142!!!!

ANY REGRETS? I, for one, feel a pang of regret that I was not able to taste the legendary Springbank 10 Year 100 Proof bottled circa 2010 at 57% (Hint, hint, anyone out there care to send me a sample?). I am told that this particular bottle closely paralleled the Broras/Clynelishes back in the day that weren't aged much beyond 10-15 years but radiated "barnyardy bravado." Hang on, I'm getting teary-eyed. Okay, I'm fine now.

Thank you for reading my 100th Review on Whisky Connosr! To the Living Waters that we love! Cheers!

And if you caught my allusion to the old Graham Greene novel in the title of this review, pour yourself a dram of Springbank 10. Well done!

Many thanks for a spirited review, and congratulations on reaching #100! I am not a big fan of the modern Springbank bottlings, so it was refreshing to read your enthusiastic tasting notes. Maybe I should jump over my shadow and give it another try.

Thanks, Pierre! Glad you like the review. This one's a keeper. Go for an older bottle if possible 2009/2010, although the 12/ 142 is really really good, as I've said! I'm really not sure how much these vary by bottling day/year. I know that the batch before 2009 was not as good according to Serge.

@AdamJackson

Golden honey color. Pretty sweet nose. Hand made rope and rusty nails. Hay as well. It actually starts like a cotton candy but it instantly changed to charred oak and oily. Finish really leave behind ham juice and the mouthfeel is big and sticks around for a long time

@cheeserandyburg

I picked this up around the same time last year (November) up along side the Glendronach 12 year old as a start into the "non-chill filtered" world of scotch. With that being said, this review will be based on my first encounter with a non-chill filtered whisky and equally important to note - a whisky that doesn't have any E 150 (colour) added. This whisky sticks to the core "root" of whisky making and keeps the process as pure as possible from start to finish. Can ya tell I'm excited?!

Nose: A really huge smack in the face of pungent honey glazed orangey peat. Massive amounts of citrus going on here. The nose on this is huge. Like a plum of oranges and tangerines coming at me. The peat in the back is literally fighting to stay alive, and somehow it does, yet very faintly. This is quite fruity and now I'm getting a hint of smoke. Extremely timid. Dropping in some water brings out a little more wood and tames the citrus.

Palate: Syrupy, oaky, woody, oily, spicy, sweet, salty, thick, WOW! Explosive and rich in nature. This is chewy scotch. A very, very faint hint of smoke, but not enough to really talk about. The prominent flavours here are a fruity, yet full-bodied salty-sweetness (perhaps sherry in this case) that bounces off the wood and light honey glazed peat that's extremely enjoyable. This is soooo good I can't stress that enough.

Finish: A nice peppery and peaty roll off, with hints of honey, salt and….. I'm gonna have another pour thank you very much. The finish on this one lasts awhile and the sweet-oak-wood note lurks around for quite some time. Excellent.

Conclusion - A robust and complex dram. Are all non-chill filtered scotches this good? I sure hope so, I'll definitely be looking into the 15 year old from Springbank. I'm sold.

Be shure to try their Longrow too! Its the more peated version of the Springbank and only distilled twice, so its even more robust, great stuff :)

Ooh, I definitely like the sound of that. When it pops up around here I'll be sure to be the first one in line, cash in hand! :D

@McTeague

On the nose, malty, lightly sweet with light peat. With some time, hints of vanilla and mint appear.

On the palate, good body, oily, mostly dry. A substantial malty character with light peat that stands up to its 46% ABV. Well balanced. Depth. With time definite notes of chocolate appear. With water, a real mintiness comes out, almost menthol.

A medium to intense arrival, complex development and medium to long finish, each of about the same length.

A young dram of real substance and nuance that lives up to its reputation. I dislike number ratings, but for a malt of this age it's certainly among the best I've tried. Since I favor young, dryish drams of character, this one does well in my calculus.

Thank you, LWF, for the recommendation. I happened to have a glass of the Springbank 18 the other night and loved it. It was an elegant dram that I would definitely be revisiting. I appreciate your feedback.

I know you wrote in your review you prefer young to old whiskies but since you seemed to really love this 10 year old i would suggest you not to pass on older springbank, because springbank ages magnificently well. Very good&informative review!

L

I decided to wait with this bottling (longer than usual, i guess, for most). But upon tasting it now through the spring and summer i must say, at least i maid myself sure i was ready. For the reasons you shall see.

Nose: Apples&Apple peels, with ornage and lemon rind. Some coastal, salty and tangy malt makes a bold entry with a whiff of smoke and peat. Some salted mango, coco and cardamom tea round of the nose.

Palate: The coastal, tangy malt makes a bold&juicy entry with some smoky peat. The peat is very discreet (this is not a peaty dram, there is just a hint of it). As a sidenote to the peat, this is a perfect dram for somebody in his 2nd or 3rd year as a whisky taster with a preference for Highland Park. This could even be a good step up from your Highland Park 12, although i would advise to wait a bit. Albeit the two drams have more than one thing in common.

The smoky coastal malt character then leaves to set the scene for some of the mango we witnessed on the nose, but almost like salted mango with some bitter dark chocolate. Then some coco with a bold malt note hanging on through the whole developement and finish. The malt defines the malt (heey!) because this is a very tangy malt, or in other words very rich in its taste and texture The malt takes on a medium thick form which doesn't glide over the palate but slowly creeps over, it's a thick but juicy malt, the quality most certainly makes it's presence felt through this impression on the form&palate.

The salty tangy malt comes back to round of with some oak and black pepper (alongside a heat rush, due to circumstance) and after a while when you think the finish has had it's say, a mint note makes a final encore. Pepper-mint then Spear-mint.

This malt then is, as most might already know and others already have predicted, not one for beginners. I would say to get the most of it at least 5-10 whiskies have to be sampled to try and get the most out of it. And as word of warning, i really don't say this a snob or elitist, it is simply stating the character of the malt, this one needs your time and attention for you two to get along. It won't simply bulge and deliver a flashy arrival, decent developement and that's it, this is substantial scotch single malt.

If you could pardon a video game analogy: Glenfiddich 15, Glenmorangie 10 and Highland Park 12 is level 2 on the sidescroller, whereas this Springbank 10 is not "level" 2 but "World 2" if u get my drift.

To quote my favorite scot from the movies, and from my favorite movie trilogy ever: "You have taken your first in a larger world"

Happy Dramming!

@AKGcandlefish

This is my first Campbeltown whisky, but with the exception of its light peat influence, I would have said it had a classic Speyside profile, similar to (but better than) the Glenlivet or Glenfiddich 12 and not altogether dissimilar from a Glenfarclas.

Color: dull gold.

Nose: apples, pears, and barley, with the slightly musty sweetness of dead flowers (that's the peat). Wet and mossy, like the woods after a heavy rain.

Body: medium and creamy.

Palate: oaky, malty, and salty, with a tinge of cinnamon spice and nuttiness. Water mellows it and brings out a sweeter vanilla quality. Not much peat here. Just the mildest suggestion of char.

Finish: medium-length with a lingering flavor of salty, chocolate almonds. A little bit of the peat influence returns but disappears quickly.

Again, had this been a blind taste test, I probably would have pegged this as a peated Speyside of some kind. This was a solid whisky, though a bit over-priced ($70). I've heard Springbank improves dramatically with age, and this was satisfying enough that I'd definitely be willing to invest in an older bottle down the road.

You noted salty in the description. The 'salty' in Springbank is another quality which separates it from most of Speyside. Springbank distillery does indeed have 'salty' going on, but in terms of peat it has the whole range from unpeated to moderately heavy peated represented in its Hazelburn, Springbank, and Longrow whiskies, respectively.

I don't find "Campbelton" a worthy separate region. This is just about historical taxing jurisdictions, you know. Springbank might just as well be classified as a 'Highland' whisky, in terms of its taste profiles. Actually the saltiness is the characteristic which most defines Springbank to me, along with "maltiness"...but then again we are talking about malts, after all. I think of Springbank whisky, per se, to be closest in house style to Clynelish/Brora, much farther to the North.

@tastydram

Color: Copper

Nose: Soft and sweet peat smoke are balanced by citrus and vanilla. Adding water is like opening a spice drawer and there's a leftover of dried sausage hidden in it somewhere. Among the spices are nutmeg, clove and some cinnamon.

Taste: Spices are everywhere ! Pepper shakes you awake. I'm thinking of a chili preserved in vinegar. With water it gets a bit sweeter. Vanilla and raisins. At the end there's a little bit of sea salt on the tongue. Three primary tastes in one dram: sweet, tangy and salt.

Finish: Pepper and salt are struggling for attention. And the third dog ? Sweetness of raisins. Conclusion: Quite a little character with a rich tradition. Fruity sweetness, a little bit of salt, deliciously hot and pleasantly smoky. Quite complex for a ten year-old.

My original tasting notes (in Dutch) can be found on my tumblr blog A Tasty Dram: tastydram.tumblr.com/post/47974801016/…

nice analogies

@hunggar

Nose: Rich and gentle. Gentle peat, gentle salt, gentle honey, and some gentle sherried fruits. Some pear, apples, and melon. Balanced and smooth. Seems to have a bit of everything without any one element being overpowering. Lovely.

Palate: Some nice oak. Light peat. Earthy, damp, natural peat. Ginger ale. Lemon cough drops. A bit of salt and the faintest spice. All of these individual elements are distinct and characterful; nothing convoluted about this dram.

Finish: Some spice transitions us into some dry sherry fruits. The salt follows through. Malt and peat linger nicely too. Medium long and enjoyable.

This is a great introduction to Springbank. It’s a well-crafted whisky which is both lush and mellow. Each element of the whisky is distinctive and crisp. These elements culminate nicely, and offer a hearty, youthful, and vibrant dram.

@cclward

Hello everyone , This is my review of Springbank 10 year old , A lively and feisty malt from Campbeltown. You tend not to really take this one seriously but Its like a featherweight prize fighter flying around the boxing ring. Its light on its feet and delivers a flurry of punches. I'm usually left saying What the hell was that? , its quick and fast, I like it

For the Nose I get the crisp airy , citrus, zesty , sea breeze with this one ,

The for the delivery , Instant white pepper, powdered sugar citrus lemon drop , lightly peated with a whiff of iodine , or medicinal gauze , does not sound tasty but it is, Barley Oak , Juicy.

The finish is pepper , I get cognac , orange peels , cherries , zesty spices

Overall , I like this 10yr old expression from Campbeltown , Springbank has been a consistent favorite for experts and recreational malt enthusiasts alike , Its an excellent malt and a great price , Zesty , refreshing , light, crisp , fast and sneaky. Take it home its a keeper

I've been very curious about this one. Fellow whisky enthusiasts often describe it as a balance between light, yet savory. Even with some notes of cured meats and as you said medicinal bandages. It's pricey down here in Miami Florida, so I'm saving it for a special occasion. Great review!

@Volks

Springbank is one of the great distillers. A family owned business produces every part of its whisky from barley to bottle in good, old fashioned, no chill-filtration, no caramel and always (im pretty sure) at least 46% alcohol. Great too see.

Colour: Typical resonant amber

  • Nose: smoke, malt, ginger, some maritime with light sherry and toffee

  • Pallet: fairly viscous, toffee, spicy, slightly woody with salt and gentle peat, a generally savoury malt

  • Finish: fairly flat (touch disappointing), light spices and nuttiness

  • Mark: 8/10

Goes away a bit too quickly and quietly for the fairly viscous and measured arrival on the pallet. But as the title says; Always worth a dram

@WhiskyBee

I usually try to introduce myself to a new brand/distillery via a signature expression, and this, my first Springbank, left a fine first impression. It's a popular, much-reviewed whisky, so I'll just offer a few random thoughts of my own:

-It's the mildest 46% ABV whisky I've ever tried. Very soft (but complex), with no booze-y tickle on the nose or burn on the palate. Doesn't need any more water than you can squeeze out of a piece of chalk.

-Nose is sweet, lemony, and full of the fresh outdoors. No need for timid little sniffs here -- this one stands up to a long, hearty, fill-up-your-lungs inhale.

-Arrival is slightly neutral, but the development reveals plenty of subtle delights. Citrus, sweet cream, and a touch of wood smoke. Finish is nice, but the sudden pepper overload is something of a non-sequitur. Could be my bottle, but I don't notice the peat that others detect.

In all, I regard this one as a winner, with a few slight reservations. It's subtle as a baby's kiss, so it requires some work for full appreciation. I like its easy drinkability, yet I wonder if a bit more kick in the process might up the satisfaction level.

Good stuff nonetheless. Among the best 10 yo whiskies I've tried.

@zlongo

I have heard many mixed reviews on this bottling, which in essence reflect its complexity. Every sip of every glass has presented something new to me so far. I highly recommend it.

@Max

This was my first encounter with Springbank distillery.And a very pleasant one! In some way it encouraged me to try other Springbank whiskies - Hazelburn, Longrow. Now, this distillery is definitely one of my favorites.

Back to the Springbank 10. It is a nice balance of peat and fruitiness with more bias towards fruits. Like that style!

Nose: malt, peat, salt, green apples Palate: spice, pepper, salt, sweetness, orange peel Finish: dry, mint and pepper, grass, peat, bit of smoke

J

Nose: vinilla sweetness, salt from soft sea air, soft peat, earthy roots, some salted butter, orange rind, sweet cereal and malts, a waxy kind of note

Palate: Sweet and fresh, sweet grains, light salts, smooth vinilla, orange rind, gentle smoke, peppery.

Finish: coastal sea spray, peppery, soft smoke, some citrus

@talexander

A malt I've always wanted to try, so hey, I cracked it open while my daughter Maggie plays next door. It's a lovely golden honey colour; in the glass, you can see it is slightly oily, with solid legs. The nose feels coastal but not too much: salt, heather, slightly medicinal, with some aloe behind a strong maltiness. Fairly briny on the tongue, with some gentle smoke (but not peat smoke) tempered by lemon. The finish is grassy, deep, warming, kind of tingly, hints of oak (but not too much). And everything opens up with a little water. I enjoy this whisky but there is something slightly off-balance. The nose is much lighter than the taste, which is lighter than the finish. Not massively out of whack but different enough that the discrepancies are easily noticed. Enjoyable, but not distinctive or surprising.

I agree with Matt...the 10 year is very unique compared to the 12 cask, 15, & 18 which all have more sherry influence than the 10 year. However, I'm warming up to the 10 year. Really enjoy the whisky along with the price. I guess I just love Springbank in general as I'm with Matt...It's a mind altering experience:) You get the best of both worlds...sherry world married with the peat/brine world...but either the sherry or peat/brine are over powering. Seems like no matter the weather or mood these whiskies always fit the moment.

Thanx Talexander, some of the Springbank tasting notes here and in other reviews reminded me of OP12. I might wait till I can get some older Springbank ie 15 or 18 when I am down south this coming winter, Jonesz

c

Not for too many words.. peat but not smokey peat, sweet, nice.. Vanilla but a little burnt.. dark chocolate not milk.. nuts roasted.. orange, nutmeg.. pepper.. dry.. long finish.. Nice and balanced. worthy of a good winter dram.. Hey guys from South Florida USA, I also may add ladies..

@rwbenjey

The nose was quite a surprise when I first opened the bottle; a strange strawberry hint...afterward turning to dense, overripe fruit, creme, and barley.

When it hits the palate, creme fruit is first and the peat and pepper swiftly follow. They don't pack too much of a punch, just enough to tell you they are main contenders. Grass and seaweed are on the shorter finish. This stuff, after the first sip, seems to evaporate in your mouth. A very unique whisky.

@ScotchNoob

[Reposted from my Blog: See Profile]

Springbank is a composite of rarities. It is one of the very few distilleries that performs the entire distillation process from malting on-site (its own floor maltings) to bottling in its private bottling plant. In fact, it is the only fully self-sufficient distillery in Scotland. Located in Campbeltown on the lyrical Mull of Kintyre, it is also one of the few surviving distilleries (of three, with Glen Scotia and Glengyle) from a once-great region of Scotch distillation. In 1887 there were 21 distilleries in Campbeltown, and it was sometimes called "The Whisky City." Hard times and a self-perpetrated degradation in quality (and thence, reputation) during the American period of Prohibition scoured the region, putting most distillers out of business.

Springbank claims that hand-turned floor maltings (as opposed to pneumatic or machine-aerated commercial maltings), while labor-intensive, yield a malt that is better because it germinates more slowly. The distillery uses traditional worm tubs, a cast-iron mash tun, and employs mechanical 'rummagers' (to prevent a buildup of burnt deposits) in the copper stills, which are heated with a combination of steam and direct oil fire. Springbank uses three stills to create a 2.8-time (not triple) distillation. For a and in-depth guided tour of Springbank distillery (and a good explanation of the 2.8-distillation thing), be sure to check out Ralfy's video tour at his website: January 2011 archive (scroll down).

Springbank also makes Longrow (a peated malt) and (new in 2006) Hazelburn (unpeated, truly triple-distilled). These, along with the distillery's flagship Springbank bottlings, are all non-chill-filtered, have no caramel coloring, and are reduced to bottling strength on-site with the same water used to produce the whisky. The water, like all Campbeltown whiskies, comes from the Crosshill Loch in the hills above the town, and is supplemented by a private well from a borehole drilled deep into the rock beneath the town.

Nose: Oily, non-smoky peat, hints of tar and woodchar, spicy and mossy. Salt breeze, almost savory, like the air outside a Teriyaki joint. A dash of water brings out a lot of barleywine and fresh fruit scents, dulling some of the peat.

Flavor starts with smoked meats, vanilla, big wet earthy peat but no campfire. Saltiness continues with mid-palate cerealy sweetness... Complex and spicy, a bit vegetal. Water brings out a sweetness like refined white sugar, but covers up some of the eccentric meaty flavors. Definitely savory.

Finish is long and complicated, more spices, salted fish, boggy peat. Evolves as it fades.

Summary: This is eccentric and nuanced, challenging and satisfying. Great stuff - I can't wait to come back and discover more!

Note: Noticed some black particles swirling around the glass (which I purchased at a bar). At the time I guessed barrel char that had escaped through the barrier filtering process. When I asked on twitter, I got the following response from @Springbank1828: "More than likely is barrel char. Sometimes these wee bits manage to escape through the filter so it isn't unheard of."

@magichabits

I've had this bottle of Springbank for many years. It may have been my first single-malt purchase. I think I got taken in by romantic descriptions of Campbeltown malts. I've never quite taken to it, though.

In the nose - it's very bright. Fuji apple, crisp pear; birchwood, Muscat grape, honeydew. To taste it is sharp and very tart. Light sweetness and heavy fire ram together and blaze a trail down the tongue and throat. In the mouth it is oaky, thin, and astringent. In the belly the finish is long, fiery, and smoky with a great, long fade.

I find the Springbank 10y mouth- and gut-feel to be closest to Talisker in my limited experience. However, I much prefer Talisker, with its much heavier flavours of iodine, seaweed, and smoke to go along with that fire.

@mattberg

My first foray into this brand was the 15 year old which I thought was superb but the 10 yr old offers something very different. Best completely neat and after a couple of measures and a hour or so whisky really grabs you. Sharper and brighter than the 15 yr old, the nose is almost a bourbon orange with the signature sea spray aroma mix, rich and complex on the palate with a bitter chocolate spice that quickly kicks into a smoky mature orange-peel tang and and dry citrus oak finish. Lovely stuff.

Nice to see someone as enthusiastic about Springbank as myself. I've only been drinking single malts for about a year and was half-heartedly learning about them the first few months until I tried the 15 year Springbank. Wow! That is the one that got me started...searching tirelessly for something as good led me to some other great Single Malts that I treasure. However, the 15 is still right up there if not my favorite. Just recently purchased the 18 and must say it's excellent...smoother, bigger, and longer finish than the 15. However, the 15 has complexity on the pallet I still can't find with anything else...just divine.

I think I will make this my next purchase thanks to your review, Thanks Matt.

@dbk

The Springbank 10 year-old is my first ‘serious’ foray into Campbeltown territory, but it has quickly made me a convert. This is a remarkable malt, and has replaced several others as my preferred daily dram.

On the nose, I find sea breeze, vinegar reducing on the stove, and an almost visceral texture of creamy, fudgy brownies. Marshmallows, pastry glaze, sweet coconut, and wafts of peat all figure prominently.

The palate is at turns sweet and salty. The peat comes through more boldly, with a hint of sherried sweetness, and again some fudge and coconut. It is delectably malty, with a finish reminiscent of spiced rice pudding.

This is a delicious, complex, well-balanced whisky. Interestingly, I uncovered a similar flavour profile in an Irish whiskey, the Connemara Cask Strength Peated Single Malt, in an earlier review (connosr.com/reviews/connemara/…). Direct comparison yields notable differences, but they nevertheless seem like kindred ‘spirits,’ if you’ll pardon the pun. Springbank is known to distill their whiskies 2.5 times, a step closer to the traditional Irish method, whereas Connemara distills their whiskies only twice (and peats them, no less), a step closer to the common Scottish method. Perhaps they are finding common ground and, having met in the middle, have hit upon some of the most enjoyable characteristics in malt whisk(e)y. This is wonderful stuff!

Interesting, @drinix. The only Bunnhabhain 12 I've tried is the previous incarnation—and I have to agree with Ian Buxton's description of it as 'anodyne'—so I haven't noticed any real similarities between it and the Springbank 10. Perhaps the newer version (which I've heard is a substantial improvement) is closer in style.

I recently noticed quite some similarities between Springbank 10 and Bunnahabhain 12, especially on the nose. I have to add, that my bottle, of Springbank, probably derives from a lesser peated batch (I had a sample of Master of malts a couple of months ago and much more peat came through in that one!). Anyone else?

@chrisrbarrett

Colour is ridiculously dark for a young scotch (assume longer time, or fresher sherry cask). Nose still shows alcohol like the Hazelburn, but with a touch more spicy. Finish is a rich creme brulee, leggy.

dark? This is the palest whisky I've ever owned; it's pale even for a 10yo with no caramel colour. Sure this is the same whisky?

@OJK

Nose, Taste, Finish and Balance are graded out of 2.5 each:

Nose: Most intriguing. There is a strong waft of pears poached in red wine, however the underlying oak and spice balances it out perfectly. 2.0

Taste: It slides itself effortlessly over the tongue with silky elegance. There is an oily wave of rich fruit, once again counterpointed by the oak. Like drinking tinned pears out of a wooden cup. 2.0

Finish: The smoke comes to the fore again, leaving a citrusy sweetness behind. A beautiful balance between sugar and spice.

Balance: I tasted another 10 year old recently, that of the Japanese distillery Yoichi, and noted its raw unbridled talent, that perhaps still needed taming. Here we have an example of a very assured 10 year old, one that knows exactly what its doing, and showing a maturity beyond its years. 2.0

@Sassberto - Definitely agree - I can imagine it's frustrating not having it at easily available out there! That said there are probably a fair few bourbons you have on your doorstep that i wish i could get my hands on!

@LeFrog - thanks a lot. definitely a must in the whisky cabinet, makes you wish there were a few more Campbeltown whiskies to choose from.

OJK, there are at least 3 different Springbank 10 bottle lagels: cream label, charcoal w/orange border and black rectangler label. I like the charcoal w/orange border much better than the totaly black label, but it seems that you can't get it anymore.

whiskynotes.be/2010/springbank/…

@WhiskyNotes

Nose: a classic Springbank profile with a wide range of aromas. Starts on tangerine, with added notes of lemon peel, green apples and pears. Dry oak. Maritime notes with a bit of ‘wet dog’. Hints of sharp, earthy peat as well. After a while, the fruitiness becomes bigger and rounder.

Mouth: very oily and extremely coating. Very peaty as well, much more peat than I expected. Rather spicy, with mostly pepper and nutmeg coming out. Roasted nuts in the background. A faint hint of sour notes (vinegar?) in the aftertaste. Becomes a bit perfumed with water, so I recommend it straight.

Finish: long, peaty and briney.

This review is about the 2009 restyled version. My comparison with the older 2008 version: whiskynotes.be/2010/springbank/…

@markjedi1

The Springbank Distillery in Campbeltown was established in 1828 and is, together with Auchentoshan, the only distillery to employ triple distillation (although according to the Springbank website, it's two-and-a-half-times distillation). Apart from the Springbank whisky, they also produce the Longrow and Hazelburn here.

This was my first whisky from Campbeltown (one of three distilleries, together with Glengyle and Glen Scotia).

This Springbank 10 Year Old with an ABV of 46%, is a mixture (marriage?) of dram from ex-sherry casks and ex-bourbon casks.

The nose is a nice mix of tropical fruit, dried grass and wonderful peat, some vanilla and a tad of seasalt. The peat dominates more prominently than I anticipated.

This is a full bodied dram, coating your tongue and mouth in a very pleasant way. The smokiness remains and is emphasized with some notes of nutmeg and chili peppers. The oak dries your mouth. The saltiness remains as well, albeit somewhat in the background.

The finish reminds me of the kind of chalk teachers used to write on blackboards with. It's only medium lenght but very nice. Sweetness and saltiness go hand in hand.

For a whisky of only 10 years of age, there is a lot going on. A rather complex dram, very much worthy of your attention. A little masterpiece.

Springbank does produce some fairly distinctive drams. Down at the Lark distillery they purchased a Springbank barrel and matured it themselves releasing it as a 16 year old (half of which they kept at cask strength). A truly awesome dram - I might drop down and purchase a glass this arvo and review it.

@jdcook: I agree. BTW, what does 'this arvo' mean? (sorry, not a native speaker and always eager to pick up slang)

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