Springbank Single Malt Whisky logo.

Springbank

Region
  • Scotland

Springbank Distillery exterior at dusk.

Name: Springbank
Address: Springbank Distillery, Campbeltown PA28 6ET, United Kingdom
Phone: +441586552009
Email: info@springbank.scot
Website: http://springbank.scot/


History of Springbank

Springbank Distillery, steeped in rich heritage, was officially founded in 1828 by Archibald Mitchell. The Mitchell family, originally maltsters from the lowlands, settled in Campbeltown in the 1660s. By 1814, Campbeltown, thriving in illicit whisky production, had 22 legal distilleries. Archibald Mitchell’s earlier venture was the Rieclachan Distillery, established in partnership in 1825. Springbank was built on the site of Archibald’s illicit still, becoming the 14th licensed distillery in Campbeltown. The Mitchell legacy continued with John and William Mitchell, Archibald’s sons, taking ownership in 1837.

Expansion and Recognition

In the 1830s, as demand for Campbeltown malt surged, Mary Mitchell, Archibald’s sister, founded Drumore Distillery. By the late 19th century, Campbeltown, with its modest population, was reputedly the wealthiest town in Britain per capita due to the whisky trade. Springbank adjusted its production in the early 1900s to lighter, less peated whisky, using coal for drying malt. This adaptability was key to its survival during periods when other distilleries succumbed to changing tastes and economic downturns.

Challenges and Resilience

The 1920s marked a decline for many Campbeltown distilleries due to quality compromises, leading to their gradual closure. Springbank, however, maintained its high-quality standards. Despite facing recession and production halts, it continued its operations, albeit sporadically, even during the whisky downturns in the 1980s.

Modern Era and Innovations

Springbank’s reputation for producing world-class whisky was cemented in the 1990s. It introduced Hazelburn whisky in 1997 and acquired the Glengyle Distillery in 2000, bringing it back into the Mitchell family. Glengyle, rebuilt and operational by 2004, was the first new distillery in Campbeltown in over a century. This reinstated Campbeltown as a distinct whisky region.

Distinctive Features

Unique in its operations, Springbank is the only Scottish distillery to complete 100% of the production process on-site, including traditional floor malting methods. It produces three distinct malts: Springbank, Longrow, and Hazelburn, offering a diverse range of flavors and sensations. The distillery, still independently owned by the Mitchell family, prides itself on preserving traditional methods while innovating for quality and diversity.

Awards Won by Springbank

  • In 2013, Longrow, a whisky produced by Springbank: Won the “Best Campbeltown Single Malt” award at the World Whiskies Awards.
  • In 2023, Springbank triumphed in the Online Scotch Whisky Awards: Securing three awards. These were for “Best Distillery,” “Best Blended Malt” for Campbeltown Loch, and “Best Single Malt” for Springbank 10yo.

Springbank Tour Information and Experience

The Signature Springbank Tour Experience

For whisky enthusiasts and curious visitors alike, the Springbank Tour offers an immersive experience into traditional whisky making. At a modest price of £12.00, this one-hour journey transports you back to 1828, the year Springbank began its storied legacy.

What sets this tour apart is the unique opportunity to witness the entirety of the whisky-making process, a distinction held only by Springbank in Scotland. From malting to maturation, each step unfolds before your eyes, culminating in a tasting session featuring one of Springbank’s core range whiskies.

As a memento of this remarkable experience, guests receive a branded glass and a miniature whisky, perfect for reliving the memories at home.

Diverse Touring Options

Beyond the classic Springbank Tour, the distillery presents a variety of specialized tours, each offering a unique perspective of the whisky world:

  • The Kilkerran Tour: Delve into the nuances of Kilkerran whisky, exploring its distinct characteristics.
  • The Barley to Bottle Tour: This comprehensive, hands-on tour provides an all-access pass to the whisky-making process, offering a deeper understanding of the craft.
  • Cadenhead’s Warehouse Tasting: A sensory exploration, this tasting session guides you through the aged treasures of Springbank’s warehouses.
  • Cadenhead’s Creation: Engage in the art of blending and create your personalized whisky at Cadenhead’s, the oldest independent bottler in Scotland.

Planning Your Visit

Tours run from Monday to Saturday, and booking in advance is recommended to secure your spot, especially for the more sought-after experiences. Springbank is accommodating to larger groups, welcoming over 12 guests with prior arrangement.

Visitor-Friendly Policies

The distillery is inclusive and family-friendly, allowing those under 18 to join the Springbank and Kilkerran Tours free of charge when accompanied by an adult. While photography enthusiasts can capture most of the distillery, the Bottling Hall remains off-limits for cameras. The on-site shop offers Springbank products, perfect for taking a piece of Campbeltown home. The distillery also ensures accessibility for assistance dogs on their tours.

Flexible Cancellation

Understanding the unpredictability of travel plans, Springbank offers a hassle-free cancellation policy. Full refunds are provided for cancellations made at least 48 hours before the tour schedule.

Flask & Barrel Review of Springbank

As a seasoned whisky collector who’s toured numerous distilleries, my visit to Springbank Distillery stands out as a remarkable experience. I’d confidently give it a 4.7 out of 5.

The sense of history and dedication to traditional whisky-making was palpable from the moment I stepped into the distillery. Unlike many other tours I’ve been on, Springbank’s process is unique as they complete 100% of the whisky-making process on-site. This gave me a comprehensive view of the entire process, from malting to bottling, which is rare in today’s whisky world.

The tour itself was expertly guided, balancing detailed explanations with engaging storytelling. As someone who’s seen many a mash tun and still, I appreciated the depth of knowledge the guide offered, delving into the specifics of Springbank’s methods, like their distinctive two-and-a-half times distillation process.

Tasting their core range was a highlight. As a collector, I’ve had my share of drams, but the flavours here were robust and memorable, especially the Springbank 10-Year-Old. The gift of a glass and miniature whisky to take home was a nice touch, too.

The distillery’s commitment to maintaining traditional methods in a modern era is commendable. While there, I couldn’t help but feel part of something timeless and authentic. The only minor drawback was the lack of production during my visit, as it would have been fantastic to see the machinery in action.

What To Do Nearby Springbank

Glen Scotia Distillery: Just a short walk of 550 meters from Springbank, this distillery offers another perspective on the Campbeltown whisky scene. It’s open from 10:00 to 17:00, making it convenient to visit before or after your Springbank tour.

Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club: Located about 7.72 km away, this golf club by the sea offers a tranquil setting for golf enthusiasts. It’s known for its great service and beautiful coastal views.

Wilder Ways: At a distance of 8.7 km, Wilder Ways offers hiking and biking adventures for those looking to explore the natural beauty of the area.

Davaar Island Cave Painting of the Crucifixion: Only 660 meters away, this historical site presents a unique cave painting worth visiting for those interested in local art and history.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Springbank?

Bartek’s Bistro: It has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441586556520. Their address is 30 Longrow, Campbeltown PA28 6JD, United Kingdom.

Harbourview Grille: This establishment has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441586810000. Their address is Royal Hotel, Main St, Campbeltown PA28 6AG, United Kingdom.

Number Forty Two: It has a rating of 4.6 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441586554642. Their address is 42 Main St, Campbeltown PA28 6AD, United Kingdom.

What hotels are near Springbank?

The Royal Hotel: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps. Detailed contact information and address are not available in the current data. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +448001513701. Their address is Main St, Campbeltown PA28 6AG, United Kingdom.

Grammar Lodge Guesthouse: This guesthouse boasts a perfect 5.0-star rating on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441586553355. Their address is St John St, Campbeltown PA28 6AU, United Kingdom.

Ardshiel Hotel: It has a rating of 4.7 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +441586552133. Their address is Kilkerran Rd, Campbeltown PA28 6JL, United Kingdom.