Back in 2010 I went to Scotland for the first time. My wife and I decided to do things right and we had some money in our pockets. I had just sold my Magic: The Gathering collection, something I now regret.
Anyway, we went to Glengoyne, to Arran, to Campbeltown, to Islay. In Campbeltown we had to do the Springbank Gold Tour, as it was called back then, which ended with a tasting in the Cadenhead’s Tastings Room.
The guy who set up the tasting (I forgot his name) asked which bottles from the line-up I already knew, and of the six set out, I already knew five. These were changed into a line-up I only vaguely recall, but this 8 year old Cognac Cask was in it, and we bought it. It was different, not too expensive and rather tasty!
Then it ended up in my cupboard for some eight years until I finally opened it around new years in 2018/2019.
Slightly glue like, but with hints of a fruit distillate. Quite a lot of minerals too, slate, iron, copper. Earthy, with soil and moss, and there’s hints of beef stew too. Strangely, but due to the hints of minerals, it stays rather crisp, for the style.
The palate is strong, but not burning your mouth too much. Of course, the ABV is noticed, but there’s quite some oak and richness to combat the heat. It’s rather dry, but still fruity, with hints of apple, pear and grape. After that the hessian and beefy notes start coming through. The hints of iron and copper are still present but pushed back further.
The finish mellows quickly, but there’s still some residual heat, and a lot of dryness remaining. You’ll notice the first swallow afterwards. The flavors mix a bit more and go towards a more median flavor, where you still get the beefy richness, but with a hint of smoke coming through, and the iron is there as well.
Generally, I’m not hugely fond of unusual casks and while Cognac is not that unusual, I do categorize it as such. However, after buying initially, and now going through the entire bottle (minus a sample or two) I understand my initial enthusiasm.
The whisky is very layered and rather complex, with lots of things happening at once. This, surprisingly, doesn’t make it an unbalanced drink, and all the flavors and layers nicely complement each other.
Of course, it’s long sold out and through resellers or the secondary market it’s around € 225, while the initial price was more like € 75. A shame, but understandable.
Springbank 2001-2010, 8 years old, Cognac Cask, Cadenhead Authentic Collection, 58.5%.