Springbank claims to be the only distillery that performs the complete production process in its own facilities — including floor malting, maturation, and bottling.
There are many versions of this rather legendary Springbank 21yo. They were bottled in dumpy bottles during the 1980’s. After that, I could find five releases in tall bottles:
- 1995 release: jagged label, gold ornaments on the cap, no vertical stripes (375 ml/ 70 cl / 750 ml), originally came with a flyer about the Springbank private cask programme
- 1998 release: straight cut label with printed vertical stripes and gold / bronze ornaments on the cap, no bottling code (70 cl / 750 ml)
- 2000 release: straight cut label with printed vertical stripes and gold / bronze ornaments on the cap, bottling code 09/10/00 etched on the glass (70 cl / 750 ml)
- 2001 release: straight cut label with printed vertical stripes but no ornaments on the cap, with bottling code (70 cl)
- 2005 release: no ornaments, it says ‘one of 2400 bottles worldwide’ vertically on the side of the label (70 cl)
In case you’re interested, I have collected a set of images over the years. As the distillery was closed in the 1990s, there were no new bottlings until the end of 2011, with the shiny gold label.
Springbank 21y (46%, OB 1995, jagged label)
Nose: wow, one of the most impressive noses I’ve come across. Dry fruits (plums, apricot). A strong whiff of heather. Wonderful notes of old wood, dusty cellars. Just the right amount of sherry influence. Something of biscuits and sweet honey. Coconut? Cherries? Blueberries? Waxy notes as well and even a slight coastal edge. Hints of leather. Oh man, I could go on and on… Complex but so smoothly balanced.
Mouth: liquid velvet. Fruity start, candied even. Developing on raisins and cassis. Heathered honey again. Growing spicier (cinnamon, vanilla) and oakier. Very nice touching of coal smoke, but really subtle. Salty liquorice towards the end.
Finish: very long, regaining raisin sweetness.
Really excellent, although it’s a tad more spectacular on the nose than on the palate. This is high class. If you find a bottle of this Springbank, expect to pay around € 350.
This was post n°100 on WhiskyNotes (hooray), so it had to be something special, right?