When my friend Gal came to the Netherlands
last this year for Maltstock, he, of course, brought samples to share in between the masterclasses. Everybody does that, it’s what makes Maltstock great since everybody brings something rare or great, preferably both.
The drawback of living in Israel is that you’re not part of the European Union and there is a rather strict limit to the amount of booze you can bring back without paying shitloads of taxes. For that reason he decided to leave some stuff behind when he went home after the festival.
I ended up with some Balcones samples, but also two Springbanks. One label said sherry, the other bourbon. No further info. By now I know a bit more about them, but sherry and bourbon is what it boiled down to.
Springbank 10yo, btld November 2009, private label for the Fredericia Golf Club, Denmark, 59.5%. Fresh Bourbon Barrel
On the nose you get vanilla and lemon curd. Also some coconut and oak. It’s a lot cleaner than I expected Springbank to be capable of. The palate is sharp with peppery heat, oak, some vanilla, dry with apple. Rather Springbank-y. The finish is warm and drying with some sharpness from pepper and straw.
Springbank, 8yo, btld August 2008, private label for the Fredericia Golf Club, Denmark, 58.6%. Fresh Sherry Butt
This time the nose is very old fashioned and heavy with shoe polish and leather. Lots of sherry, oak, musty barley floors and grain mills. Also moldy cellars. Nice! The mouth is sharp with some dry oak, bitter but with a lot of rich, gentle fruitiness in the background. The finish is fairly straight forward, long and rich with sherry. Big.
While the first one wasn’t something overly thrilling with too much ‘vanilla’ flavours going on (in both senses of the word: the flavour of vanilla or as defined here) I wasn’t too thrilled. The second one, the sherry cask, made up for that. Springbank knows how to do sherry casks very well and one this heavy and old fashioned makes me realize Springbank is almost a running museum instead of a distillery. Gorgeous!
So thanks Gal!