My visit to Springbank and Glengyle ended at the Cadenhead's shop in Campbeltown, where everyone on the tour was given a miniature bottle of Springbank whisky to take with them. Presumably because it's treated as a gift rather than a sale, these bottles have none of the standard information we expect on the label, such as ABV. But that makes it an interesting mystery.
Springbank Private Bottling for Distillery Visitors 2013
Nose: gobs of leathery Campbeltown character, mossy peat, juniper/rosemary, cured meat, dry malt, fresh bread dough, citrus pith, hay. After adding a few drops of water it remains much the same, but the peat becomes fresher and the cured meat becomes more pronounced.
Taste: sweet malt up front with some oak tannins underneath, vague fruit/berry/sherry notes in the background, leathery/mossy peat begins around the middle and expands towards the back, dry hay something oily going into the finish. After dilution the initial sweetness fades more quickly and the oak/leather/peat combo becomes more bitter but also give it more of an oaky heft.
Finish: bittersweet peat, leather, and oak, malt, herbal/hay
This is simple, but hits all the classic Springbank notes. While I'm guessing this is mostly young-ish bourbon cask Springbank, the roundness and berries suggest there might be some sherry casks in the mix as well. Either way, it's pretty similar to standard Springbank 10 Year, so I wouldn't get overly worked up about finding this. It's a nice treat if you visit the distillery and a good introduction to the style for anyone visiting Campbeltown, but nothing mindblowing.
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