And now for one of the most useless reviews ever… This is one of those obscure Cage bottlings from Springbank, where you can get a one-off in their shop, and it will never see its likeness again.
The full information would be a bit longer than the title has. There’s ‘Rotation 411, 26.09.2006-09.08.2018, Duty Paid Sample For Trade Purposes Only’ at least.
Anyway, I’ve had this sample for a while from RvB who shared some samples of it a while ago. Today, sitting outside with the kids having fun in the yard and me having a whisky, I tasted it. After tasting it, I poured the rest of my sample. There’s something here to say the least!
With a timid cask like this the oak is rather restrained. That gives the Springbank funkiness of hessian and old barley more room to shine. So off to a very Springbank-y start! There is pineapple peel, hints of apple and dried lemon. Some oak and soil.
Moist hay on top of the already moldy notes. After a second or two the ABV comes roaring in, even though I had a cask strength dram before. There’s a trace of dry smokiness, hessian, cork and old wooden planks.
The finish is syrupy, lots of dry fruit, lots of funk. Massively funky indeed, a very quintessential Springbank. Old wallpaper, hessian, engine grease, but also pineapple and pear and apple.
I do realize this is a fresh sherry cask, and that doesn’t necessarily show from my tasting notes. There was a tinge of dried fruits here and there, but not too significant. I think, in this case, the sherry mostly acted as an amplifier of the already present Springbank funkiness. That, dear reader, is what made this whisky awesome.
The tasting notes might not read as a great whisky to sit down and wind down with, but believe me that it is. The flavors combine into a bit of an assault on the palate, but a gorgeous one and one that demands attention. This is not a whisky that will go down without making you notice it!
The ABV helps, of course, but the scents and flavors are just amazing. I already loved Springbank but if, somehow, they could make this profile pop up in regular releases, I’d gobble them up.