Springbank 17, 2002-2020, Rum/Bourbon finished in Madeira, 47.8%

Let’s make recipes more complicated than necessary, shall we?

This whisky matured for 14 years in Bourbon and Rum barrels, to be finished for three years in a fresh Madeira cask. All 9200 bottles were released last year and it made some waves with Social Media groups adoring the bottle and being pissed off with eachother for not being able to get a bottle.

I was lucky that my local retailer thought of me when a bottle came in, at a much fairer price than is currently the norm on the secondary market. With prices starting at € 319 at the moment, it’s clear that Springbank has a fairly ridiculous fanbase.

Of course, an average score of almost 89 points on Whiskybase it’s not strange that this is a popular bottling. Also of course, with Springbank having so many fans, there’s bound to be a bit of a less critical view of stuff, since ‘everything’ they make is supposed to be awesome.

Image from Whiskybase

Sniff:
It starts with some rich notes without losing its more crisp coastal notes that are common for Springbank. Hazelnuts, peanuts, and a lesser note of almonds. No bitterness though! Hints of dried prunes and dates.

Sip:
The palate is more cask driven. Sawdust, almond flour, peanutbutter. Some hazelnuts too. Quite ‘Madeira’. A whiff of smoke with hints of dried fruits like prunes and dates. Some charry notes from the cask too.

Swallow:
The finish is surprisingly ashy, the charry notes seem to take over. Roasted nuts, but the fruity notes are almost completely gone.

Well. How to rate this. Sure, this is good stuff, but it’s not as stellar as I was expecting. The nuttiness is quite typical for Madeira casks, so it’s very good that it’s well represented. However, I do miss Springbank’s typical funkiness. The charry notes are a bit strange too.

So, there’s a lot of things happening because of the Madeira cask, but apart from the coastal note on the nose it seems like the cask has overpowered the distillery character. And I really like Springbank’s distillery character.

In my book this whisky is good, but not great.

88/100

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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