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Springbank CV


Temperatures are soaring outside, not really the time for a dram. Or is it ? Some people drink whisky at any season, others prefer a warm fireplace while the rain is pouring outside. Count me in the last group. However, duty calls, so here's a new tasting note. Springbank is the oldest independent distillery in Scotland, and created in Campbeltown. From a traveller's perspective, visiting the Campbeltown area is a small nightmare. One has to make a long trek to the Southern tip of the Kintyre peninsula on the Western coast of Scotland to reach Springbank - or the nearby Glen Scotia distillery. Except for the distilleries, there's not much happening in Campbeltown. And even for the people that want to 'get away from it all' for a few days, Springbank is a fairly poor destination. It's one of the few distilleries that isn't surrounded by the lush Scottish countryside - located in the middle of a busy town.

Springbank CV is an unusual whisky, for several reasons : first, it’s not quite clear what ‘C.V.’ used to mean. Some say ‘Chairman’s Vat – or Vatting’, others ‘Curriculum Vitae’... It contains a blend of different single malts between the age of 8 and 30, therefore presenting a 'taste visiting card' of Springbank. Then, there’s been several versions, notably an earlier ‘white cap’ version that’s the one we’ll have right now, and then a more recent ‘gold cap’ version. Second, it has a quite complex tasting :

Color : *very* pale gold, almost white wine.
Smell: complex. Spirits and grain. Spicy. Adding drops of water emerges a burst of pepper. Is that fruit there hiding in the back ?
Taste : oily, malt and more spices. So much pepper, it makes my mouth tingle ! Tears in me eyes. Again some fruit (lemon ? Pear ?) hiding in the pepper cloud. Lots of other stuff too, like liquorice, peat and some bitterness but almost killed immediately by spice and pepper.

Aaa-choum ! Did I mention the pepper ? This could have been a balanced complex whisky, but unfortunately too spicy for me.