I alerted a friend of mine in Austria about these bottlings that I randomly spotted on Facebook, and he was kind enough to bottle share them (Thanks again, DSA!).
With a 21 year old Springbank that’s been matured in a fresh sherry cask, only to be finished in a port pipe, I think the word random is apt. I can’t imagine why someone would do that unless either the cask was utterly shit, or they’d have so much 21 year old Springbank on hands that it got boring.
I guess the first one is more likely.
So, a 21 year old Springbank bottled as a private release for a club (I guess) in Austria. Only seventy bottles were released and when it came out, this was a rather affordable Springbank 21. Now let’s find out why…
It’s very heavy on the nose with a bit more sharpness than a 48%, 21 year old made me expect. Stewed strawberries and jam, some ash and the earthiness of dunnage warehouses. It gets more hints of warm porridge as it opens up.
The palate starts rather peppery with a lot more heat than I thought there’d be. It’s quite sweet and woody. Lots of the warm and slightly funky tawny port flavors. Very earthy and moldy. Stewed red fruits, but also dried apricots and sugar syrup.
The finish is still quite intense, but more in a warming way than it’s sharp. Licorice, dried fruits, leather and tawny port. Also, that dunnage warehouse again.
My thoughts are that this was not necessarily a bad cask, but just a very weird one. Maybe the guys who bottled it thought it would be more logical to make it a truly weird one to mask the not-so-good sherry cask. Maybe…
Anyway, it’s not the best Sprinbank 21 I ever had. It’s not the best Springbank I’ve had this year. It’s quite decent though, although I’m happy I had ten centiliters, and not a whole bottle. I would finish it, but not in an overly enthusiastic way.
Springbank 21, 1995-2016, Fresh sherry matured, port pipe finish, 48%, Starkicker, Austria. Still available in Austria for 245 euros.