An auctioneer's guide to Springbank, the family-owned Campbeltown distillery

Founded in 1828, Springbank distillery has been owned by the Mitchell family since 1837, when John and William Mitchell purchased it from their brother-in-law and distillery founder William Reid. Springbank survived the crash of the 1920s while many of its Campbeltown neighbours closed down. Following a period of closure between 1979 and 1987, a decision was made to no longer supply blenders and focus solely on single malt bottlings. With the maltings reopened in 1992, the complete process of whisky production is carried out on site, from malting the barley to bottling the whisky. Three distinct whiskies are produced at Springbank distillery: in addition to the eponymous single malt there is the triple-distilled, unpeated Hazelburn, and the heavily-peated Longrow. Today, it is one of only three distilleries remaining in Campbeltown.

Investors and whisky drinkers alike are attracted by Springbank's reputation for quality, so releases such as the Millennium set (five bottles aged from 25 to 50 years), the Local Barley bottlings, and vintage expressions from independents like SMWS and Corti Brothers always turn heads at auction. The late 2010s saw the emergence of a number of private cask bottlings, with single casks filled in the 1990s finally making their way to market.

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