Douro Valley: a sprawling majestic wilderness in the northern provinces of Portugal. Campbeltown: a fishing town on the Kintyre peninsula of Scotland. What do they have in common? Both are dedicated to the production of a quality beverage that can’t be produced anywhere else in the world. For Campbeltown we know, of course, of the great history of the Victorian Whisky Capital of the World, while Douro has its own claim to fame as the sole origin of port, a fortified wine – at least in the EU, our friends in the US don’t have such a restriction on the term – formally dating to at least 1756.
There is a boldness in geographic designations such as Scotch or port. Naming your product after its home tells the whole world you are the best at what you do. Quality is assured. And the reputation of your entire region is staked upon it. Just ask Stornoway about their world famous black pudding! Since port can only be made in Douro Valley and Campbeltown Single Malt Scotch can only be made in Campbeltown, never the twain shall meet, right? Wrong! We’ve managed to get our hands on a single cask bottling of Springbank – Campbeltown’s oldest operational distillery – matured in a… you guessed it, a port cask.
The collision of these two worlds is just as exciting as you’d imagine! You’re struck immediately by the beautiful ruby red colour of the liquid. This expression was distilled in December 1995 and filled to a fresh port cask straight away, spending a full twenty years maturing in the Portuguese wood, taking on delicious dark chocolate and berry flavours with notes of crème brûlée and rich treacle. There’s plenty of the characteristic Campbeltown flavours too, with hints of smoke and the iconic coastal aspects. Only 216 bottles were filled in October 2016 at a natural cask strength of 51% abv, and you can make one your own at Loch Fyne Whiskies.