Springbank 1985 (Moon Import)

Springbank 1985 (Moon Import)

This Springbank 1985 appeared in 1996 as part of the Dovr-Toutes-Mares series. This is a collection of 7 single malts by Moon Import, all featuring antique cartography. There are two similar Springbanks in the series.

Pepi Mongiardino started Moon Import in 1980. As a pupil of Silvano Samaroli he became the official Italian importer of Bruichladdich, Tamnavulin and Tullibardine. Mongiardino released the Half Moon series, one of the first themed series with artistic labels. After Half Moon he became famous with the Birds, Animals, Costumes and Sea series, adorned by illustrations from an 18th century German encyclopaedia. His concept was later taken over by many independent bottlers (The Whisky Agency springs to mind), sometimes quite literally like in the Antique Lions of Spirits series.

At first I was a bit puzzled. I thought Springbank was mothballed in 1979 due to the poor state of the UK economy, and only reopened in 1989. However on their website they say there was still sporadic production.


Springbank 1985 (50%, Moon Import ‘Dovr-toutes-mares’ 1996, cask 40/1, 40/2, 40/3, 40/4, 1100 btl.)

Nose: mechanical oils and sooty notes, alongside dates and toasted nuts. Hazelnuts and peanuts. Earthy hints of mushrooms and liquorice. Wet rocks and hints of soy sauce. Later hints of blackberries and red berries come out. A good mix of Springbank character and sherry.

Mouth: peppery peat at first, followed by cough syrup and hints of menthol. Still stewed berries or even forest fruit jam. Tobacco leaves and dark tea with orange peels. Liquorice and hints of coffee too. Very muscular and sherried, with dark chocolate and more earthy notes towards the end.

Finish: quite long, very nutty and mulchy, with some metallic notes, herbal tea and a slightly disturbing bitter edge now.

This may lose a couple of points towards the finish, becoming quite extractive, but other than that I think it’s a pretty good Springbank from an interesting era.