Last week I went to the Sommerville to see the Ken Loach film ‘The Angel’s Share’, a tale of Glaswegian offenders who attempt a most unlikely heist. Introduced to the joys of whisky by their community service officer, this motley crew attempt to steal one of the world’s most valuable single malts. And the dram that started the journey of discovery was Springbank 15YO.
Springbank have been legally distilling whisky on the Mull of Kintyre, in Campbeltown since 1828, they are old school, undertaking all the processes in house, including malting the barley and bottling the finished product. We entered through a low door into a darkened space where they were adding hot water to the barley to start germination, my first impression was that the place seemed a bit Dickensian, that’s not to say the staff were not friendly, because they were, much more so than at slicker operations.
The 15YO is fruity and quite light with a hint of smoke on the nose and salt on the finish. Peet and brine are elements common to the west coast location, but are kept very much in check to allow the sherry cask characters to dominate. The result is a fruity, Christmas cake nose, smooth palate and long complex finish. An ideal malt for this time of year, and may I say would make an ideal Christmas Present!
And for those not familiar with the term Angel’s Share, it is the name distillers give to the spirit that evaporates during the long cask maturation time. The spirit in the atmosphere is the reason some distilleries ban flash photography and results in the proliferation of a black fungus on the walls of the Bond Stores.