People who have been around this industry for awhile will probably remember Longrow C.V., and can rest assured that Longrow Peated is that same cult favorite in a new dress. … It is fully peated and aged in ex-bourbon without any sherry cask influence. It’s also not chill-filtered, has no added coloring (indeed it’s quite pale), and has no age statement. I’d place it somewhere around 9 years, but it’s hard to tell since it’s possible for a blend of ages to be used in NAS bottles.
Springbank 10 is classic stuff. Aged 10 years (It even says it on the bottle! How old-fashioned!), not chill-filtered and bottled at 46% ABV without artificial coloring. Springbank does things the “old way” and is unapologetic about it. On-site floor maltings, worm tubs, and even (some) direct-fired stills. They also do a crazy “2.8-time” distillation and the malt is partially peated. Why? Because that’s how they’ve always done it.
I love Springbank. It’s one of my favorite distilleries. It’s also one of the very few distilleries left in Scotland that embodies the “old school”, tradition-laden whiskymaking techniques that marketing departments elsewhere salivate over. … This can backfire, though. Most of the technological improvements in the whisky industry over the past 100 years have been implemented for the sake of consistency in the resulting whisky. …
Hazelburn 12 seems to have come into its own. It has funky, oily notes that lovers of Springbank will know well, but paired with honey and vanilla and pear instead of peat. A pleasant, floral-forward malt with a deep complexity.
The basic 8-year is priced quite high for its age, and for me occupies a no man’s land between affordability and cult appeal. If light whisky is your thing, you owe it to yourself to splurge on one of the expressions of Hazelburn. If you like robust and fully-flavored malts, steer clear.
Full bodied. Creamy. The 100 proof burn is present and intense, but gives way to roasted peanuts, rotisseried meat, salt and light oak. Not at all sweet. Springbank 100 is challenging and intriguing. I get new flavors every time I drink it.
Springbank is a composite of rarities. It is one of the very few distilleries which performs the entire distillation process from malting on-site (its own floor maltings) to bottling in its private bottling plant. This is eccentric and nuanced, challenging and satisfying. Great stuff – I can’t wait to come back and discover more!