There have been a number of Springbank 1996 bottlings in the Archives series before. Now there’s two more: cask #55 and cask #56, both ex-bourbon hogsheads.
Springbank 22 yo 1996 (54,9%, Archives ‘Shells from the Bay of Caracas’ 2018, bourbon hogshead #55, 259 btl.)
Nose: quite a juicy version, with mineral notes, grassy touches and fresh oak on the one hand, and garden fruits on the other hand. A little pinewood and apples. Candle wax. Classic Springbank, though not really exceptional.
Mouth: great now, it’s much more fruity, with peaches, oranges, hints of mango and a Clynelish-style waxiness. Multivitamin juice. Very light peat and a little pepper, as well as a bit of active wood.
Finish: long, the grassy notes are back, lemon rind, wax and oak spice.
Lovely Springbank although the unique touch only comes out on the palate. Nice combination of fruits and minerality, good selection work. Available from Whiskybase for € 365.
Springbank 22 yo 1996 (55,8%, Archives ‘Shells from the Bay of Caracas’ 2018, bourbon hogshead #56, 277 btl.)
Nose: this one has a certain aroma of apricots on syrup / guava juice that jumps right out of the glass. Turkish delight, maybe some litchi. There is gravel too, beach sand and wet sheep wool, but more in the background. A little leather and a whiff of soot too. Perfect combination and more complex than its sister.
Mouth: opposite casks really. While the nose was fruity, the palate is now briney, sharp and very mineral, with a zesty bitter edge. Plenty of chalk. Grapefruits, grassy notes, green fruits. Still a flash of tropical fruitiness but harder to appreciate. Mint, some iodine and smoke. Very chiselled.
Finish: drying, a little acrid and salty. Perfect sharpness.
On the nose I would have sworn this would win hands down. On the palate the tables have turned slightly, so do you prefer nosing whisky, or drinking whisky? Though question. I still prefer this one for its higher complexity. Same price, also from Whiskybase.