Campbeltown stalwart Springbank was one of only two distilleries (along with Glen Scotia) to survive the depression and post-war period. Nowadays, the distillery has reached the heights of cult status – the speed that its releases fly off the shelves matched by the general high quality and consistency of its expressions. The CV series was commenced in 2008 with the release of Longrow CV (which we’ll be taking a look at tomorrow). Since then, it’s been joined by additional expressions of both Springbank and Hazelburn – reflecting the three different styles that the distillery produces.
There’s no one definition of what ‘CV’ actually means. Even Springbank have not clarified the term – Chairman’s Vatting, Curriculum Vitae or Curvee of Vintages (they’re all multiyear bottlings). As the distillery has stated in the past – honestly, it doesn’t really matter – the whiskies are designed to showcase the three house styles that the distillery produces. The Springbank CV is a vatting of three different ages – 7, 10 and 14 year olds – as well as being drawn from three different cask types – ex-bourbon, ex-sherry and ex-port). It’s bottled at 46% ABV.
Nose: Earthy and mineral. The expected Springbank peat pungency is not here – at least not on initially pouring – a little resting time brings out some light ashy smoke and touches of wood char. The mainstay here is earthiness and minerality – soils, wet hay, damp leafiness alongside slate, granite and shale. Everything is bound together with a tinge of tropical and citrus fruits – ripe bananas and lemons. There’s quite a vein of vegetalness running through this whisky – broccoli, sprouts and leafy greens.
Taste: Richer, sweeter and with better composition than the nose. Here we’re more into traditional Springbank territory – Malty, grapefruits, lemons, grape juice backed up by slightly astringent coastal smoke – salty (and pepper for that matter), mineral, pungent and ashy. Altogether rather pleasant.
Finish: Medium with high sweetness and juicy fruits.
Springbank CV is straight-forward, unchallenging and surprisingly coastal. The nose is a touch unusual – I don’t commonly associate vegetables with my Campbeltown malts, but they’re certainly present here. The palate is much more as expected, and quite well-constructed with a good interplay between sweet fruits, pungency and coastal spice. Last seen around 2013 – you’ll probably be paying over the odds for this at auction, so your best bet might be to wait until Springbank unleash another batch. Nevertheless, worth a dram if you happen to spot it somewhere for a reasonable price.