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Springbank - a journey back in time

A cold and windy October day I arrived in Campbeltown, which is on the western isthmus Kintyre with a look over to Islay. The climate by the sea makes that one here and there, you see palm trees, which you don't really expect to see in Scotland. Campbeltown was once a major power in the scottish whiskyindustri with over 100 distilleries, but today it is reduced to less than a handful. Most well-known is without a doubt the Springbank distillery, which is located in the middle of the city, tucked away behind the small main street.

the Capacity is 750.000 litres a year, but for many decades they have chosen only to distill the approximately 100,000 litres. Not because it is a problem to sell the finished whiskey, but from the owner's side has always been very cautious. And it is perhaps understandable, for one has around 80 employees from the small town, so it is an important employer. But last year set the production up to 275.000 liters, as the demand was too big for the small production.

Springbank was founded in 1828 by the Reid family, but acquired nine years later by John and William Mitchell as a fully process-distillery with both the malting, distillation, storage and flaskning. Today is the distillery privately owned by descendants of the Mitchell family, making it the oldest family-owned distillery in Scotland. Like so many other distilleries had to close in the period 1926-33 and again in 1979-1989.

Facadeskiltene reveals that here is produced there are several different types of whiskey. You have chosen to use the old names in the various disused Campbeltown-distillers for each type, to make at the distillery. Produced three different brands at the distillery: Springbank, Longrow and Hazelburn.

Everything is made at the distillery, including maltningen of the barley. Malt of Springbank will be tørverøget in about six hours, while a batch, which is to become the Longrow, must endure the entire 47 hours of tørverygning. When the malt is finished, it is moved over in ten large maltkar, each of which can hold 20 tonnes of malt. The content in each well is monitored by the Springbanks “computer”, which is an old trætavle, in which the boys write with chalk, how much it contains and what type, should be out of it. And unlike other distilleries maltes everything at the distillery, and nothing be purchased.

Malt you ground in an old Porteus mill, before you then need to extract the sugar. The fermentation happens in the beautiful gærkar of the Swedish larch wood, which each can contain 21.000 liters. It ferments unusually long, sometimes up to 112 hours to achieve all the scents and taste, you want.

They are all made on the same boilers, but the process is somewhat different:

distilled two times and are generally pleasant smoked (50-55 ppm). In 2019, 10% of the production Longrow.

distilled 2.5 times, which means that a portion of the first distillate is removed and distilled over again with the “feint”. Ergo: Something is distilled two times and second three times, which is why, one says, the is distilled 2.5 times. It is known as the lightly smoked (12-15 ppm). Furthermore, Springbank known for the use of different types of casks for storing. In 2019, the 80% of the production Hazelburn.

use instead of triple distillation and has never smoked. In 2019, 10% of the production Hazelburn.

Wash the boiler is very unconventional, as it is heated with oil and coal.

All storage is done at the distillery in one of the nine lagerhuse. You have both hyldelagre and traditional Dunnage lagerhuse, where the dishes are located directly on the jordgulvet and stacked on top of each other, three in height. Total has approximately 13.000 fade on the stock. To apply good equal parts ex-bourbonfade and ex-sherryfade and even a few other types of wine casks, for example port wine. The younger whiskies are used most bourbonfade, whereas sherryfade more used to the editions from 15 years and upwards.

As the last curl on the tail bottle to even his whisky. It has its own facility in the same premises, where timber is provided, and where the bottles are filled and afterwards labelled.

A visit to the Springbank is like a journey back in time. Here is no modern technology in order to increase efficiency, right alongside the burning of oil instead of coal. It is perhaps precisely this that makes Springbank a good story.

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