Guest post: 1980s Springbank, a rare treat

Once more, Tom van Engelen shares his take on things going on in his world of whisky. This time around he reviews a sample he got his hands on, of a Springbank bottling from yonder year.

Image by “Dram Delivery Man”

The 1980s were hard times for the whisky industry and not every distillery was producing in those days. So, when you get your hand on this or that rare gem, such as a 1985 Springbank, you savour the moment.

The very typical minerals one comes to expect from Springbank. Extremely vibrant and alive. Apparently life handed the distillery lemons and Springbank made whisky. Almost painfully nostalgic to enjoy the aroma. I have rarely enjoyed such a balanced dram. After a little longer I notice wet grass after summer rain.

A rather center stage whisky, quite hard even though the high alcohol is gentle. The lemons show but with a modest edge from the wood influence. Water is needed. It improves a lot, more dark chocolate and a pleasant waxy character.

Goes down a little too easy. With water it puts on boxing gloves and hits you on the head. Very spicy and hot, like the dragonball candy from the old days, or salty liquorice.

With the extremely balanced nose I started my drinking experience at 95 points but the liquid itself had a more challenging character. Still an extremely impressive Springbank, a clean example of what the distillery consistently offers through the decades.


About Tom van Engelen

I’m a writer in a variety of fields and have a soft spot for whisky, mainly malt, mainly from Scotland. In other times I enjoyed a stint as editor-in-chief of one of the first whisky magazines in the world. When not sipping a good glass I like to write some more, read, watch 007 movies or listen Bowie music. I’m engaged to Dasha, I have a sweet daughter and I live somewhere between the big rivers in the middle of The Netherlands.


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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