Zeewijck, a semi-local liquor shop used to have a discount on the last three days of the year. The age of the whisky is the percentage subtracted from the price. Of course, that usually added up to 20% discount, which is still a very solid bit off the retail price.
When I was there several years ago, I happened to find this in the back of a high shelf. Of course, a decade ago whisky wasn’t as expensive as it is now, and I ended up paying 10% of the price for which it is now available. That’s what I call a good deal.
When I turned 37, three years ago to the day, I decided to open the bottle and have some with a couple of friends. Now, I finally find it right to review this. The bottle is slowly nearing its end, but there’s still some left for tonight.
Now, keep in mind that this bottle holds a very special place in my heart, so take the review with a grain of salt. It’s a coastal dram, after all. Of course, this scoring almost 91 points on Whiskybase with over a hundred reviews says this is good liquid.
Not surprisingly, this is very gentle, with only 43% ABV and almost four decades in mellowing oak. There are hints of dark bread, old apples. Some slate, sand and basalt. A minor note of smoke comes by too. Even though it’s gentle, there is some intensity with a whiff of engine grease and quite a lot of fruit. Apple, pear, grapes, passion fruit, peaches and some nectarine.
The palate shows more intensity of flavor than I’d dare hope initially. It’s old and low in ABV after all. A small note of Springbank funkiness with dried fruits. Apple, pear, passion fruit and a more crisp note too. Maybe some star fruit. Quite a good helping of oak, to no one’s surprise.
A long and big finish. It combines the nose and the palate into a well rounded whole. Oak, funk and fruit, with barley and old wood.
Without a doubt, this is the best of my open bottles. There is so much to discover here, that I find it hard to fault it at any point. And by ‘fault it’ I mean finding a reason to not simply give this 96 points or so. Of course, I’m slightly biased.
But, still, this is an epic whisky. It does everything I want from a Springbank, and the lower ABV works very well in combination with the great age. It results in a whisky that asks for attention but doesn’t demand it, so if you have it at a festival, it might get swamped. Sitting down with, and for, this is very rewarding though. An absolute stunner.