Springbank: [Last years], New & Forthcoming

A return to whisky. The catchup continues.

Last year’s ‘new & forthcoming’ is todays ‘been & gone’, though thankfully, there’s no wrong time to review or re-review whisky.

The setting: Springbank’s malt barn. The occasion: Springbank’s Open Day in May 2018 [blog]. Ronan Currie settles the lively herd with “Shut it, right!” We proceed rather more quietly. Let’s fly!

Springbank New and Forthcoming Flight.jpeg


Hazelburn 2007:2018 10yo Ob. Springbank Open day [1070 bts] 59.6%.jpeg

[Springbank] Hazelburn 2007/2018 10yo Ob. Springbank Open Day 2018 [1070 bts] 59.6% WB86.50[30]

  • N: Toffee over [refill Marsala wine hogshead] sherry-esque vibes.
  • T: This robust modern style begins sour > sweet with boozy toffee-caramel and a sour sharp fruity development.
  • F: Warm and salty.
  • C: Unremarkably competent.

Scores 85 points


[Springbank] Hazelburn 2004/2018 13yo Ob. Oloroso cask matured [9000 bts] 47.4% WB87.26[131] WF89

I tried this before, but it was a very limited first contact: Blog[80].

Hazelburn 2004:2018 13yo

  • N: Oaky sugars, Kiwi, Weetabix, teak furniture and all the things that were being shouted out. A fun one and an easy reader.
  • T: There’s more fun to be had with oaky sweet sugars and a murkier side that speaks of vegetal oily soup.
  • F: A slightly disappointing [and frequently inevitable], waxy rubbery oloroso-led finish, but at least it held off until the end.
  • C; There’s often a score shelf with these engineered ones, and this one hit it at 86.

Scores 86 points


Ronan’s titbit #1

Springbank distillery is a huge asset to the town, bringing employment to over 80 Campbeltown residents. Ronan himself is one of three brothers who work for the distillery. “What’s good for Springbank is also good for the town”.


Springbank 21yo [2018] Ob. Gold label [3700 bts] 46%.jpeg

Springbank 21yo [2018] Ob. Gold label [3700 bts] 46% WB90.39[77] WF92

Released last May, its maturation is composed of 30% bourbon & 70% rum casks, and sports a similar gold label to the 21yo single cask festival bottling [blog].

  • C: Not sure I always get rum & whisky though I find this highly competent.

Scores 87 points


Ronan’s titbit #2

Why 63.5% abv for new make spirit? Generally considered the industry standard [currently], Ronan tells us this was originally about cask swaps between distilleries, meaning the same duty could be applied across the board.

However, there are varying opinions on the matter. Further reading:


Springbank 12yo [2018] Un-Ob. ref: #18/42-1 CS 57.5%

Springbank 12yo Ob. CS #18:42-1 57.5%.jpeg

  • N: Classical malleable sweet barley juice.
  • T: Same confident delivery, though there’s not a great deal of complexity.
  • F: The barley base remains true.
  • C: Another unremarkable yet highly competent dram. Modern whisky personified?

Scores 86 points


Ronan’s titbit #3

The SWA needs to sort out the rules on finishing”. Cadenhead’s finishing policy is a 3 years minimum.


[Springbank] Longrow 1991 16yo Un-Ob. ref: 08/91-3 56.8%

Loch Lomond have been using Chardonnay yeasts for a number of years [WB82 & Inchmurrin WB85 for example]. Glen Moray too, brought out a Chardonnay number in 2014 WB76.

  • N: Amusingly, I only noted nutty vanilla with a touch of Baby Cham – funky!
  • T: More [peaty] funkiness though not at mezcal levels. Instead it’s more a delicious agave-based picnic dip.

Longrow 08:1991 16yo Un-Ob ref 08:91-3 56.8%.jpegSuddenly a police officer enters the malt barn. “I’m looking for the owner of a car, registration number #######”, he says. No one responds. A moment later, there’s a tremendous roar of applause & delight as the policeman disappears, ’empty handed’.

  • F: Where one may expect a oloroso-esque squidginess, a Chardonnay-esque squidge is a slightly different beast – and for some reason there’s a tennis ball quality to it.
  • C: Ever heard the joke ‘What’s an Essex girl’s favourite wine [whine]?’ The answer isn’t, ‘I want one aged for 7 years in bourbon and 9 in Chardonnay!” The result however is rather fine indeed. Apparently, this particular single cask/small batch?, is destined for international markets [ask Grant McPherson for a bottle apparently], though there are other cask/batches to try at the distillery [WB87].

Scores 87 points


[Springbank] Longrow 2005/2018 13yo Ob. Open Day 2018 [1096 bts] 58.7% WB89.12[54]

Longrow 2005 13yo Springbank Open Day 58.7%

I’d tried this refill port cask-matured Longrow a few days earlier in the courtyard [Blog87], and deemed it well worthy of sixty of my hard-earned pianist’s pounds.

  • N: Lovely toasted oak sugars.
  • T: With coastal hints, a little water brings out the subtle & rubbery mechanics oils.
  • F: Light, dirty peat with a banana-y finish. 
  • C: Scores the same as before as it turns out.

Scores 87 points


Ronan’s titbit #4

‘The quote’ – “Springbank – made by people, for people”.





springbank new and forthcoming flight placemat

6 thoughts on “Springbank: [Last years], New & Forthcoming

  1. Suddenly a police officer enters the malt barn. “I’m looking for the owner of a car, registration number #######”, he says. No one responds. A moment later, there’s a tremendous roar of applause & delight as the policeman disappears, ’empty handed’.

    NOOOOO! Why did I miss that!? :)))


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