Springbank 20, 1998-2018, Sherry cask, 48% – Antique Lions of Spirits

When I saw the price tag on this one I had to check whether there was a typo there. The ‘cheapest’ one clocks in at almost € 450. For a twenty year old Springbank.

The danger of such ridiculously expensive bottles is that you start seeing the € 300 indie bottlings as affordable options…

Anyway, I got a sample of this from whisky buddy Nils at Best of Wines / Best of Whiskies, on a recent order. I also tried it at Hielander Whisky Festival where I actually bought a sample of this, but of course, at a festival you don’t take notes. I’m glad I actually get to review this properly.

This whisky was bottled at 48% and I strongly doubt whether that’s just a higher strength or a cask strength bottling. It matured in a sherry cask, but apart from that there’s not much info.

Image from Whiskybase

Sniff:
The not-cask-strength ABV (my guess) makes itself known in the way that this is a fairly timid whisky. There’s a complex nose of the Springbank funkiness, but there’s also some fresh apples and grapes. The sherry adds mostly spices and a touch of bitterness. There are some dates in the background. A whiff of something meaty too.

Sip:
The arrival is very gentle, with a hint of dryness but virtually no heat. Quite fruity, with dates and plums, but also stewed apples. A bitter touch from the sherry cask along with baking spices. Clove, cinnamon, black pepper. The dryness increases with time, as does the bitterness. Almonds, plum stones.

Swallow:
The finish goes more towards the sherry than the nose made me expect. There’s lots of dried fruit going on, as well as baking spices. A hint of the feinty Springbank spirit, but the sherry cask is getting the overhand.

I feel, especially towards the finish, that the cask got the overhand and trumped the spirit. Which is a shame since anything ‘trump’ isn’t good, and Springbank’s spirit is already kick-ass. A bit of an overactive cask, I think.

Still, this is a cracking drink, but not as good as I hoped it to be. What also doesn’t help is that THIS COSTS € 500! That’s just way too much for what this is.

87/100

Springbank 20, 1998-2018, Sherry Cask, 48%, Antique Lions of Spirits – Savannah Series*

*Savannah Series. With an orangutan on the label. Because they are well known creatures of the Savannah.

Thanks for the sample, Best of Wines!

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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1 Response to Springbank 20, 1998-2018, Sherry cask, 48% – Antique Lions of Spirits

  1. Pingback: Getting reacquainted with Bladnoch. | Malt Fascination

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