Springbank is a legendary distillery in more ways than one. Founded in 1828 in Campbeltown, it is Scotland’s oldest independent family owned distillery. It is also one of the smallest distilleries in the country. Springbank is also the only Scottish distillery that malts all of the barley used to make its single malts.
Springbank is a legendary distillery in more ways than one. Founded in 1828 in Campbeltown, it is Scotland’s oldest independent family owned distillery. It is also one of the smallest distilleries in the country. Springbank is also the only Scottish distillery that malts all of the barley used to make its single malts. Moreover, Springbank is today one of the distilleries which employs the most people, while its production is limited to 130,000 liters of pure alcohol per year.
Within Springbank, since its inception in the 19th century, from malting to bottling, every step of the manufacturing process is carried out on site. Moreover, despite its limited production, no less than 70 people work on the site, six of whom are devoted exclusively to malting and work the cereal with the force of their hands. The distillery is also known for carrying out an original distillation in two and a half stages, from three small iron stills. Part of the brandy from the second distillation is in fact redistilled with that from the first distillation, which allows the complexity of the malts to be developed. Thanks to its loyalty to these ancient techniques, Springbank is part of the very exclusive club of legendary distilleries.
If Springbank is a globally recognized and respected legend, it is also for the personality of its whiskeys. Oily, robust and slightly peaty single malts, recognizable among a thousand. A personality that can be explained by its production techniques unchanged since its creation in 1828. This fidelity to its ancestral methods, we owe it to its owner Hedley Wright, who is none other than the great-great-grandsons of 'Archibald Mitchell, the founder of Springbank. Suffice to say that Springbank does honor to the past of Campbeltown, a city long considered the “whiskey capital of the world”.
The peaty taste of whiskey no longer so much to the taste of blenders in the mid-19th century, Springbank was one of the first distilleries in the region to partially dry its malt over a coal fire from a nearby mine. .
The business of the Campbeltown distilleries prospered until the Great Depression of 1930, when the distilleries went out of business one after the other. Springbank was no exception and was closed for many years.
The distillery has seen little change since its inception. Springbank is one of the few distilleries to continue producing 100% malt itself. The particularly slow fermentation takes place in wooden washbacks and lasts about 70 hours.
Springbank Distillery has its own bottling line. It produces 3 different malts: the first bears the name of Springbank and is distilled two and a half times ... The malt is dried for 6 hours over a peat fire then for 24 hours in hot air. The result is a lightly peated Single Malt. For the distillation, the wash is distilled a first time and the still body is separated from the still head and bottoms. Then, part of the low wines thus obtained is redistilled, again with separation of the distillation heads and tails. The feints (distillate extracted after recovery from the heating core) thus obtained are then distilled in the spirit still with the low wines from the first distillation.
Maturation takes place in various types of barrels or "refill" (reused): bourbon, rum, Madeira or sherry.
The second malt produced by the distillery is called Longrow, named after an old neighboring distillery closed in 1896, and whose last cellar still standing is home to the Springbank bottling line. This malt is dried entirely over a peat fire, so the taste of this whiskey is clearly more pronounced. The Longrow undergoes a classic double distillation. Currently, the Longrow is marketed in its 10 year old version, but a 15 year version is planned as soon as the malt has reached this age. Longrow production resumed in 1987. Longrow is exclusively brought to maturity in "refill" type barrels.
In 1996, Springbank began distilling a third malt, the first version of which was marketed as an 8-year-old, called Hazelburn, named after another distillery which closed its doors for good in 1925. The malt intended for the production of Hazelburn is exclusively dried in hot air and their maturation is done at 100