Springbank 23, 1996-2020, Fresh Sherry Hogshead 108, 47.3% – Private Bottling

Springbank of this age is getting expensive. While that is a well known fact nowadays, it seems that getting stuff like this for around € 400 is the best you can do, and there are quite some expressions (and therefore bottlers) that exceed that mark by quite the margin.

Add that we are talking about a dark and sherried Springbank, at a rather low cask strength, and we should be good, right? By its looks it reminds me of the great Springbank bottled by WhiskyNerds some years ago.

I rated that one at 94 points. And thinking about rating stuff that high, it does get as arbitrary as very low ratings. With me that is. I can’t tell you the difference between 93 and 95, for example. It’s a bit of a gut feeling.

Anyway, let’s do tasting notes!

Image from Whiskybase

Sniff:
For a Springbank of this age, it’s surprisingly malt forward. Gently fruity with lots of tropical stuff. Mango, plums. Some browned butter and hessian for the required Springbank-funk notes. Brioche, apricot jam, some wood spices.

Sip:
The palate starts off with some sweetness and a little dry touch. The fruit and oak come through right after. The sherry brings apricots, plums, mango. Lots of syrupy sweetness. After a while it becomes more dry and oak forward. Wood spices, dry sherry notes and a bit of bread like flavors.

A second sip is more dry, with a slight bitter note from the fruit.

Swallow:
The finish is a bit more dry, with the spices being more prominent than on the palate.

With this being bottled at ‘only’ 47.3%, it’s a very smooth and beautifully aged whisky. The sherry is quite prominent, but it’s unmistakably Springbank with the slight funky notes. Fruit, dryness, funk, oak, it has it all.

In that way, this bottling does everything right and I wrote down 93 points. However, as said above, I can’t really tell if this is better than the WhiskyNerds one or not. Let’s keep it at this being an amazing whisky. Amazing as in, I’m hard pressed to find a new release that’s better, this year.

93/100

Of course, this sold out instantly at € 425 per bottle.

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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