I got an announcement from Boris Borissov that they were on the verge of releasing a Springbank single cask. Knowing their aim for quality, and having experienced it through their Lagavulin and their Highland Park, I was thrilled immediately.
What also helps is that I’m a huge Springbank fanboy. As in, not one of those Apple-fanboy-esque figures that just swallows everything that’s put out like it’s the best thing since sliced bread, but a more critical one that wants them to simple do what their good at: Releasing great whiskies without too much bells and whistles.
Luckily, when details of this whisky were announced it turned out to be a refill sherry cask, which is something that I find to combine very well with Springbank. A sort of toned down sherry influence.
I was very happy to receive a sample for reviewing from Boris Borissov, and I was even more surprised to find that there aren’t even tasting notes or even a mark on Whiskybase yet. Very contrary to my style, I’m early with this review.
Also, when a sample makes you feel fabulous, you just have to react, don’t you?
A typical Springbank that’s mainly focused on barley, straw and coastal crispness of a decent breeze from the sea. Quite some salinity, dry oak, but some lactic acid as well. Star fruit and apple. After a few minutes a campfire like smokiness comes through.
The palate has some bite to it, with some heat from the alcohol. When your mouth gets used to it, it still stays a dram with a surprising bite for the ABV it has. The dryness is very pronounced with barley, husks and oak. The star fruit, is still here, but the apple is all but gone. The palate is quite coastal with some salinity, and surprisingly, there’s some acidity too, which isn’t that normal for a Springbank. The smokiness is almost up to Longrow-like levels, but stays a bit more gentle than that.
The finish is a tad richer than the palate was, with a bit more warming barley notes and a tad less dryness. Some pastry notes as well, with apple crumble, and maybe some walnuts too.
This is at first a very interesting whisky with quite some unusual notes. Especially the slight acidity, with some lactic notes on the nose, is something rather unique. Luckily, it is not ‘unique’ in such a way that it gets off-putting after a few sips. Especially since there’s enough other flavors to focus on and get a very good drinking experience.
A very well picked cask, if you ask me. Available for € 329 at Whisky Tempel
EDIT: The price is already in resale, the original price was € 249. Which also means it is in resale even before the bottles have been distributed…
Springbank 19, 03-09-2000/29-01-2020, Refill Sherry Hogshead 669, 50.8% – The Whisky Kingdom for Wu Dram Clan
Thanks for the sample guys, much obliged!