Two Springbanks from the Cage!

When in Campbeltown you have to visit Cadenhead’s. Especially since Mark Watt took over they’ve quickly become one of the, if not the, best bottler I know. However, when at Cadenhead’s, you’re technically also at Springbank. And, maybe coincidentally, that happens to be one of my very favorite distilleries.

Apart from their older expressions quickly reaching a price point at which I can no longer afford them, I more or less love all their expressions to some degree.

So, when I was at Cadenhead’s and had just emptied my body of all spare organs I needed to sell to afford everything I wanted, I remembered ‘the cage’. The cage in which they sell some 1-of-1 bottlings of Springbank, Longrow and Hazelburn. Maybe there’s Kilkerran too, but I’ve not seen it.

I picked these two, based on age and cask types used. A port cask and a sherry cask. Both types of cask that work well with Springbank’s products, in my opinion.

Unfortunately, they didn’t last long after selling some samples (at some point you do need a kidney, so I held on to the second one). The last bits I reviewed last week.

20180906_205557Springbank 12, Fresh Sherry Hogshead, Rotation 265, 59.2%

Sniff:
Lots of oak, sherry, leather and shoe polish. Dark chocolate, dried plums and sour cherries. Toasted rye bread. Very dark, roasty and gorgeous.

Sip:
Not as strong as I’d expect. Lots of sherry and fruit. Oak, some almonds and walnuts. Plums, cherries, chocolate and espresso.

Swallow:
Long on the finish, and more mellow suddenly. Fruity, with lots of leather and fruit.

90/100


20180906_212437Springbank 14, Fresh Port Hogshead, Rotation 392, 58.2%

Sniff:
Pretty heavy on the Port, but also with the known and loved Springbank funkiness. A whiff of diesel and engine grease, but with some old oak and stewed red fruits.

Sip:
Pretty sharp, but rich too. Port, and port casks. Earthy, dark and big in flavor. Slightly smoky and funky. Mushrooms, wet cellars and mold.

Swallow:
The finish quickly mellows, but stays on track with the same flavors as before. A bit more earthy, maybe, and some notes of flint.

90/100

As you might have concluded, correctly, these are tremendous whiskies. I absolutely loved them to bits. They are both intense and funky, just like you love Springbank in its teens.

I hope to go back there in February when I’m doing a tiny Scotland trip with my mate JP, and must remember to not blow my dough before I get there. In this case that might be a bit easier since it’s only Arran before Campbeltown, and not the entirety of Islay.

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About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm a web developer at Emakina. I'm highly interested in booze, with a focus on whisk(e)y. I like to listen to loads of music and read quite some books. I'm married to Anneke, have a daughter Ot, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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