Show rating data charts
Distribution of ratings for this:
During my last trip to Scotland in May, we had the great pleasure of touring the Springbank distillery in Campbeltown. We got a chance to quickly meet Director of Production Frank McHardy, and had a fantastic tour, culminating in a tasting in the rooms at the back of Cadenhead's retail store nearby. I spent a little bit too much money there........
.....but I didn't buy this bottle there - got it at the ol' overpriced LCBO. The 18 Year Old is released annually, in a limited run of 9000 bottles. It is 80% matured in sherry casks and 20% in bourbon barrels and, as with all Springbanks, is non-coloured and non-chill-filtered.
The colour is a deep coppery gold. On the nose, rum raisin, chocolate hazelnut and strawberries. Malty and spicy. A hint of mint. Very complex, a lot going on and all these different notes work together very well. Water brings out a very subtle, light balsamic quality. Very interesting.
On the palate, briny, with vanilla and white pepper. Very Springbank, and with berries and cream. Buttery and delicious. Water seriously ups the spicy heat, bringing cayenne pepper! Wow!
The finish is quite gentle at first, then developing into cinnamon and nutmeg - but near the end becomes a little too bitter. That is the only off note in what is otherwise one of the great Springbanks. Jim Murray scores this a 90.5, and it won Best Campbeltown Single Mat at the 2012 World Whiskies Awards. I cannot recommend highly enough a trip to Campbeltown, where you can visit a distillery that is a time machine to a bygone era of whisky-making; purchase some rare bottlings at Cadenhead's; and finish with many impossible-to-find drams at the Ardshiel Hotel.