Whisky Odyssey
Old-fashioned with a twist of the modern 

Campbeltown Loch: the unicorn of the town

Should we long for the good old days, in which Campbeltown Loch was actually a blended Scotch whisky, now that the brand has changed to being a blended malt whisky? So, no more grain component in there, all malts, in fact, all the five different malts being made in ‘the toon’. That would mean, the three Springbank expressions including Longrow and Hazelburn, next door neighbour Glengyle providing the Kilkerran component, and across town Glen Scotia to make the blend complete. But still, who remembers the classic Campbeltown Loch 21 years old? The label also was much more romantic in those days. Nowadays, it feels like the label was made by a malfunctioning AI. Come on guys, you can do better!

Anyway, brought onto the market by Springbank in a bottle much similar to the core expressions, we should not be surprised that batch variation is a given here. That is what makes the distillery’s output so incredibly interesting.

They are always playing with varying cask makeup for their bottlings, be it the Local Barley series or the yearly 12 years old. Things are never boring. What many noticed about the Campbeltown Loch blended malt, is that recent bottles have a distinctively darker colour. Can we conclude more sherry casks were dropped in the mix?

Campbeltown Loch, blended malt Scotch, bottled at 45 % abv

Makeup: Put together from all five Campbeltown malts, matured in bourbon and sherry casks. Sadly no balance presented between the two.

General impressions: Typical Campbeltown malt, that’s to say: dirty, mineral and lots of Oriental spices derived from a slightly sulphury influence. All kept in check by impressive balance. Given time, some sweetness rises from the glass which can be attributed to the sherry casks. The taste is rather mature for a no-age-stated bottling, and I would not be surprised if indeed some older casks found a home in this batch. On the other hand, it packs a lot of punch, which indicates some youth as well. I suspect the peated component was not too old. Sipping away and enjoying the gentle finish, one cannot muffle the feeling this blended malt can actually proudly stand NEXT to the single malts of the town.

Conclusion: A typical case of one plus one equals three. For the price this sells, you get yourself an incredible malt whisky. It is my guess Springbank itself does the heavy lifting here, but a certain dirty characteristic from Glen Scotia is well present. Recommended stuff!

Score: 84 points

Disclaimer: taken from a self-bought sample from the Springbank Tasting Pack – November 2023, at the Springbank Distillery in Campbeltown.

Share this on your social media! - and check mine while you're at it :)