Campbeltown Sans Springbank Night with Malt Mongers Israel


Once again our whisky club, Malt Mongers Israel, met up at the Milk & Honey distillery for our monthly get together. This month’s theme was Campbeltown without Springbank. We’d recent had a dedicated Springbank evening and decided to try some of the other whiskies coming from the region (granted only one bottle was actually not from a Springbank associated distillery).

I was quite excited as my experience with Hazelburn, Longrow and independently bottled Glen Scotias is quite limited. Our lineup for the evening was:

  • Hazelburn 10 Rundlets and Kilderkins – A Special release of Springbank’s triple distilled, unpeated label. It was matured in 60 litre rundlets and 80 litre kilderkins, hence the name. They’re actually wine and beer casks respectively, although I couldn’t find info as to whether the casks used here contained those fluids before being used to mature whisky..
  • Kilkerran 12 – Already reviewed here, the excellent first full-fledged release of whisky distilled at Springbank owned Glengyle distillery.
  • Glen Scotia 1991 bottled by Signatory Vintage – A 22 year old independently bottled Glen Scotia, matured in a hogshead, bottled at a slightly perturbing 43% ABV.
  • Longrow 18 – The 2014 release of the older expression of Springbank’s heavily peated label.

There was also a bottle of Campbeltown Loch (a blend put out by Springbank), seen in the picture which was not part of the evening but was kindly brought by one of the members for everyone to try, so didn’t take notes on that one.

Hazelburn 10 Rundlets & Kilderkins

Aged 10 years. 50.1% ABV. Matured in rundlets and kilderkins.  No colourant added and non-chill filtered.

Nose: Peaches. New leather. Dried Apricot. Orange peel. Fragrant.

Palate: Leather. Chewy fruits. Tzimmes (Google it). Pumpkin.

Finish: Long. Bitter wood. Bitter citrus. Malt porridge. Waxy fruits.

Would I buy this: Yes

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 4/5

This is the first Hazelburn I’ve tried more than a mere sip of and I was really impressed by it. It was really thick and full of chewy fruit notes and it had that lovely leather note usually found in older Springbanks.

Glen Scotia 1991 Signatory Vintage

Aged 22 years. 43% ABV. Matured in a hogshead. No colourant added and non-chill filtered.

Nose: Dirty Socks. Just dirty socks. Black olives. Carbolic soap. Oven cleaner. Anise

Palate: Light. Wet stone. Wet leaves. Mud. Dirty socks. Olives.

Finish: Short-medium. Olives. White rum. Slightly earthy.

Would I buy this: No

Would I order this in a bar: No

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: No

VFM: 1/5

This was absolutely terrible. It seriously tasted like it had been matured in a laundry basket instead of a cask. A few interesting notes popped up on the nose, but I just couldn’t get over the dirty sock smell. Really disappointing, and it costs a fair sum to boot.

Longrow 18 

Aged 18 years. 46% ABV. No colourant added and non-chill filtered.

Nose: Salty Peaches. Apricot fruit leather. Sweet smoke, like a sugary jammy fire. Copper. Amaretto. Caramel cream. A little glue. Polished wood. Wood oils. Wet tobacco.

Palate: Apricot jam. Tar. Cotton candy. Molasses. Cigar ash. Stewed fruits in custard. Dried, salted meat. Rich wood. Hazelnuts.

Finish: Long. Dry wood tannins. Some notes of black tea. Rich wood smoke, kind of like mesquite wood chips. Dark berries. Plums. Coal dust. Caramel candies.

Would I buy this: Yes

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 2/5

A little on the spendy side, but man what an awesome whisky. It appears simple at first but then this explosion of complexity hits you and it’s just amazing. This is full of those really nice old-style whisky notes which go so well with the Springbank style peat. Delicious.

A really great evening in all. We got to explore the non-Springbanky side of Campbeltown whiskies and it was a blast, minus the Glen Scotia. I think I most liked the Longrow 18 but the Hazelburn was also really solid whisky, and the Kilkerran was it’s dirty, herbal, fantastic self. We also had some Khachapuri to go along with the whisky and it might just be the ultimate drunk food. A great time with great friends as always.


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