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Issue 15 - Cream of Campbeltown

Whisky Magazine Issue 15
April 2001

 

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Cream of Campbeltown

Martine Nouet savours Campeltown's whiskies before creating a menu that reflects that lush pastures, beautiful landscape and gentle light of Kintyre.

There are very few activities in this world that can truly be described as being very special. Contrary to popular belief, driving down the Mull of Kintyre along the A83 on a sunny summer evening is a very special treat. No, really. Imagine the sun melting into the tranquil waters, its low-angled light reflecting glowing copper hues. The wind drops to create a soothing atmosphere in harmony with the surroundings and one can't help but relax while listening to the sounds of silence.

Is it the memory of its now defunct whisky distilleries which makes this long strip of land so peaceful and so vaguely nostalgic? Nowadays, it is no more than farming land that unwinds its grassy meadows as it reaches towards Campbeltown. Campbeltown itself is no more than the ghost of a former distilling town, no longer prosperous and bustling with life. Yet, probably out of consideration for its past splendour, it is still regarded as a significant region in the geography of single malt.

The remaining single malts distilled in Campeltown – Springbank, Longrow, Glen Scotia – have their own distinctive characters. However, I believe that Springbank, in spite of all its individuality, captures something from the nearby grassy meadows – ideal pastures for the creation of exquisite dairy products. I have often found a creamy texture and buttery aromas in Springbank: the 12-year-old has an oily and salty mouth-feel. I remember a Springbank 1979 which expressed an outstanding fudginess, more o...

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