Springbank Hand-Filled, August 2022

My week of reviews of Campbeltown hand-fills continues. As with Monday’s Hazelburn, this Springbank was filled in August of this year (not by me). These hand-fills don’t have age or vintage statements and nor are the cask types disclosed. My understanding, as I said on Monday, is that this is because at Springbank these are not, as at most other distilleries, single casks that are replaced when depleted, but continuous vattings that get topped up once they get low. If you can confirm or deny that this is true, please write in below. Monday’s Hazelburn was somewhat uncharacteristic, being quite peaty (Hazelburn is supposed to be Springbank’s unpeated variant). Where will this Springbank fall on the spectrum? Let’s see.

Springbank Hand-Filled, August 2022 (57%; from a bottle split)

Nose: Nutty sweetness (almonds) with olive oil, mild brine and a bit of coriander seed. A bit of vanilla in the sweetness as it sits and also some acid below it (preserved lemon, a bit of tart-sweet apple). The preserved lemon expands as it sits and the almond and olive oil turn to almond oil. A few drops of water and the almond oil expands with some citronella coming up from below it.

Palate: Comes in as indicated by the nose but with a big dose of cracked pepper and rock salt added. In other words, a clear sibling of the Hazelburn, though there’s not as much coal smoke/char here. Very approachable at full strength with very nice weight. The preserved lemon expands here as well. With more time the charred pineapple from the finish pops out earlier. Okay, let’s add some water. All about the citrus and the salt with water.

Finish: Long. The salt expands here and has the last word. With time the preserved lemon emerges again at the end with a sweeter note of charred pineapple mixed in. Picks up char here with water and the preserved lemon comes back strong at the end.

Comments: Very much a variant of the Hazelburn hand-filled and rather good as well. Man, I’d love to have full bottles of each of these. Okay, let’s hope the Longrow doesn’t let me down on Friday.

Rating: 88 points.



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