As I’ve said before, and will say again: A long time ago there were requests on the whisky network. People would ask the community to review different whiskies that they wanted to try.
And someone (who I’m not going to search for) asked for Campbeltown Loch. I used to have a spreadsheet of all these requests, however they became too numerous, so now I just try and drink some when they come up.
Let me tell you, the list was long and some of the whiskies were rare, so they don’t come up too often. For instance, the last time I did this it was Bruichladdich DNA, of which I’ll be lucky if I ever see again, let alone drink.
I found this mini at Cadenhead’s in London, a very animated and extremely helpful shop and tasting room. Seriously, go there. It’s near the Sherlock museum (quite fun and less busy than Madame Tussaud’s), and a few blocks away there’s a whisky bar called Salt that has amazing Indian food and Shisha.
What could go wrong?
Campbeltown Loch is a blended whisky from J and A Mitchel, with an age statement (that you need to find elsewhere) of 5 years. It includes Longrow and Springbank as part of it (thus the name), and it’s sold through Cadenhead’s as they are the same company as Springbank distillery.
Unfortunately I couldn’t get my hands on any of the 21 year old variety, as I brought home quite a bit over my limit of whisky and was already facing a nice tax bill. Next time, I tell myself.
Price: N/A in Ontario
Region: Blend (Blended, to be exact)
Colour: 10YR 8/8
Nose: Cereal, cream cheese icing, butter, sea salt, lemon, rosemary
It’s a little all over the place. There’s a smooth creaminess to the whole thing, as well as some herbs and a tart sweetness.
Also it’s really light on the nose. Took some time to pick it apart. Nice nose though.
Taste: Lemon, iodine, peach, smoke, vinegar, brown butter
More and more of the same. You can tell the Springbank portion due to the smoke, iodine, and peach.
That said the blending of whiskies here has added a real off note and taken away (rather than amped up) the Springbank’s charms. Like Wingmaning for a complete jerk, if you will: He doesn’t seem more charismatic, you just seem less.
Finish: Smoke, nectarine, faint mint, iodine, butter
Again, it’s the same thing, over and over. A muted version of Springbank 10
Short finish as well. Like the mix has taken away from the normal Springbank.
Conclusion: Marketers and old school whisky aficionados will tell you that a blend (or blended, or vatted) whisky can be more complex and put together than a Single Malt. And I can see some truth in that.
This is not the case. Rather than taking the interesting smoke, iodine, and rock fruit elements of Springbank and elevating them with interesting smokey parts of Longrow, this dram seemed to be an awesome record on volume -1. And that’s just not cool. It was nice to sip, and the rough elements weren’t too numerous, however I’d probably just buy Springbank 10 or Longrow Peated over this any day of the week.
It’s too bad, because I had high hope for this one. Oh well.
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