Springbank 37, 1970-2007, Sherry Cask 1344, 43% – Secret Treasures

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.

Sniff:
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.

Sip:
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.

Swallow:
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.

94/100

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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