Springbank has a few interesting things coming up, some of which were available to try at the latest Sprits in the Sky festival, still the best whisky festival we have in Belgium.
There’s Springbank Green 12 Years, an organic whisky although not entirely. It’s made from organic barley but the distillery doesn’t have the necessary certificates to release the whisky as entirely organic. So it’s called ‘green’ instead. It’s fully bourbon-matured and I thought it was quite good.
I’ve heard some rumours about a new, more heavily sherried Springbank 17 Year Old due in January, but I couldn’t find that one at the festival.
There’s also a Springbank 18 Years Single Cask bottled for The Nectar in Belgium (58,7%). An exquisite version of this already really good dram, very fruity, with lots of oily notes and seemingly more smoky notes than expected.
Today we’ll review the new top expression for the core range: Springbank 25 Year Old. A few casks from the first batch of the new Springbank 21 Years have been kept back (four casks to be correct, a mix of bourbon and sherry casks) and finished in Port casks for a couple of months to form this 25yo. I can’t stop wondering why they would put such an old whisky in Port casks…
They can keep it available each year but batches will be very small (this year 1200 bottles, next year not even 1000 bottles). It follows the strange glossy style of the 21yo label, but with a silver background and red accents.
Springbank 25 Years
(46%, OB 2014, 1200 btl.)
Nose: quite fruity (baked apples, oranges, lots of berries) with some waxy notes and a subtle dose of sherry and Port (going towards plums, strawberries and fragrant raspberries). Touches of paraffin, damp cellar and whiffs of brine. All quite subtle and slightly modern / winey. Not bad at all but not a match for old bottlings either. Mouth: a fair deal of wine again, but not exactly powerful and slightly vinous. Raspberries are back, some cassis, plums and candied oranges. Gingery notes, cinnamon and liquorice. Leathery and earthy notes too. Finish: medium long, on crystallized fruits, with oak and brine.
This new Springbank 25 is not bad at all, but it feels strange and a bit restrained – I expected more, especially when the price will be around £ 300. I was much more impressed with the excellent 18 Year Old Single Cask which I believe to be around € 140.