Springbank went online after several of their whisky festivals in spring didn’t happen. I never participated due to some weird credit card / web shop mishap, and after that because of Brexit.
However, through others, I was able to get my hands on a sample of some of the bottlings. I believe I was so anxious to get my hands on some samples, and so forgetful at the same time, that I ended up with at least two of each. Luckily, the whisky isn’t too bad.
Springbank generally uses a mix of casks for their bottlings. Virtually everything that they’ve released over the last couple of years is a mix of sherry and bourbon, or bourbon and port, or some other combination of casks. Virtually everything, unless otherwise stated, of course.
It usually works well for the brand. It adds layers of complexity to an already very interesting spirit and, unless the addition of usually port makes the whisky a bit too sweet for me, I generally love what they’re doing. Let’s see where this one sits!
The nose starts with a full on assault on your nostrils. Not because of some high level of intensity, but because of all the things happening. Instantly I get some austere notes of slate and basalt, some fruit, a bit of moss, ferns, and oak and barley. A lot is happening. There’s a note of coffee and hessian too, but it shows up a bit later.
The palate is pretty strong and dry, with chili heat. There’s ground almonds, dried plums, a bitter note too. It’s quite hot if you let it swim for a little while. Red peppers, oak and a dry note of barley.
The finish shows an entirely different aspect of the whisky. It mellows quickly, but there’s a hint of flint on top of the scents I got on the nose, of slate and basalt. It’s slightly coastal, with a bit of salinity.
It’s a bit clunky, but that’s not entirely unexpected from this age and distillery. Between the palate and the finish it is a little bit inconsistent, but I think that’s not too surprising with a wild whisky like this.
Of course, by now this has gotten quite expensive and is only available through the secondary market for about € 320 (at the time of writing). Don’t expect that to go down ever. Springbank has more than enough fans to always find takers for collection completion.