Instead of the yearly general release, Springbank is currently releasing single cask versions of its Springbank 21 Year Old, bottled at cask strength. Different countries selected their own cask so you’ll need a worldwide network if you wish to acquire the whole series.
The UK has a large Oloroso butt at 49,6%. The Netherlands and Germany have a smaller Oloroso hogshead (48% and 47,5%). In Belgium the importer The Nectar also selected an Oloroso hogshead.
Springbank 21 yo (48,2%, OB for Belgium 2016, Oloroso hogshead, 342 btl.)
Nose: quite round, with some vanilla and subtle fruits (apricots, juicy pear, blueberries). Starts warm but evolves towards sourish fruits: apple peelings, unripe plums and later citrusy notes. Behind this there are elegant mineral notes, hints of hay and chalk. Hints of floral honey. Linseed oil in the background. Nice balance.
Mouth: oily and punchy, more austere than we’d expected from the nose. Some sweet sherry notes, quite short, then lots of oily / waxy notes, a very light hint of peat and plenty of pepper. Lemon zest and apple skin. Hints of walnuts and spices.
Finish: still quite peaty and peppery. A hint of clove and grassy notes.
Somehow it seems less sherried than some of the (first) new 21 Year Old bottlings, perhaps because of the big peppery, mineral side on the palate. Very good Springbank. Around € 290.