SPRINGBANK 12 Year Old Cask Strength
A semi-annual release from the Springbank Distillery, one of the last family-owned distilleries in Scotland. Beginning in 2010, Springbank began releasing two vattings per year of a twelve-year-old cask strength malt, aged in a combination of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks at around a 60:40 or 70:30 ratio (depends on the vatting). The distillery releases one in Winter/Spring and one in Summer/Fall. Whisky nerds and Springbank-lovers keep track of the different batches by the ABV, which varies slightly with each new iteration. As with all Springbank products, this malt is non-chill filtered, and it contains no added coloring.
1591, We record the first reference to Campbeltown whisky writing.
1601, Campbeltown becomes a whisky smuggling centre and the illegal production of whisky, then also referred to as Uisge Beatha, Gaelic for ‘water of life’ is rife.
1660s, The Mitchell family, founders of Springbank, come to Campbeltown as settlers from the lowlands. Some family members were already maltsters.
1814, 22 legal distilleries are now in operation in the Campbeltown area.
1825, Archibald Mitchell becomes partner at Rieclachan Distillery and is later joined by his brother, Hugh.
1828, we build Springbank on the site of the previously illicit still and Archibald Mitchell used it. Springbank Distillery is officially founded, becoming the 14th licensed distillery in Campbeltown.
2014, Today Springbank is one of only three distilleries operating in the Campbeltown area. Furthermore, it is the oldest independent family that owned the distillery in Scotland. Learn about the place where our story began.
Our distillery is located in Campbeltown, a picturesque Scottish town situated at the southern end of the Kintyre Peninsula on the glorious west coast.
It started at the date as far back in 1828. It combined with those used for the now distinct distilleries of Longrow, Rieclachan, Union, Springside and Argyll. As the only Scottish distillery to complete 100% of the production process on site, with human involvement at each and every stage, our distillery is busy and bustling.
It is a fact that no distillery in Scotland is as self-contained as Springbank. Our distillery manager led our expert team to carry out every tasks and complete it on site.
We are one of only a handful of distilleries to malt our own barley using traditional floor malting methods. The process begins when we conveyed and stored the barley into the barley loft. We steeped it in cool and clean water. It is where we left it for up to three days to swell. We then laid it out in a six-inch deep even layer on our malting floors where our team turn it at regular intervals. Kilning Now laden with natural sugars which is used to produce alcohol. Then, we remove the malt into a kiln, where depending on whether we are producing Springbank, Hazelburn or Longrow, it is dried over a peat fire, hot air, or a combination of both.
After kilning for 30 and 48 hours, the malt is now ready to enter the milling stage. It is where we crushed into a fine powder called grist in our 1940s Porteous mill.
The grist is added to hot water, allowing us to extract all the sugars into a liquid. This process is carried out in our mash tun, which is made of cast iron and dates back as far as a century. Rakes stir the liquid during mashing, and the process is carried out three times with each grist. Every stage of our process is carefully considered, from the source of our water in the hills around Campbeltown, to the heating of our stills, to help us maintain the quality and tastes created by our predecessors. Furthermore, our whisky is never chill filtered and we never add any artificial colouring to any of our whisky. This ensures that the natural qualities developed during production are always present.
The liquid drained from the mashing, known as wort, is transferred to wooden wash backs, of which we have six, each made from boatskin larch. It is here that yeast is added, converting the sugars into alcohol over a period of up to 110 hours of fermentation after which the liquid is ready for distillation.
The liquid from the wash backs is passed through our three copper stills; the wash still, which unlike many distilleries is fired by a live flame, low wines still and spirit still. The spirit produced by this process is then transferred into the spirit safe, where the stillman monitors its progress. Springbank is distilled two-and-a-half times, Longrow two and Hazelburn three, helping us to produce these three distinct malts.
The spirit is transferred into empty casks that have been carefully selected by our skilled whisky experts. It is our choice of cask, combined with the location of our distillery. In addition, our unique peninsula climate, that contributes greatly to the distinctive flavours that can be detected in our whisky.
The filled casks are then transported to our dark, moist warehouse and left for a minimum of three years. Furthermore, the age at which a spirit legally becomes whisky. The whisky is matured for various time periods under the watchful eye of our Distillery Manager. Moreover, some are bottled especially for limited edition ranges; one in particular was bottled 50 years after it had been filled, giving it a truly unique character.
Bottling and Labelling
When many distilleries may add artificial colours or chill filter their whisky at this stage. However, we do not add it. Moreover, we ensure that the whisky’s natural characteristics are not lost. During bottling, our team inspect the whisky at several key stages. This is to ensure it is consistently of the highest quality, secure and correctly labelled.