...where distraction is the main attraction.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Beatrice Booze Report: Springbank 21 year old, bottled in 2005

After examining my entire sample stash for storage problems, I decided to change up the celebratory whiskies this week. I'm going with two super samples I've been saving for years for some unknown circumstance. I believe the opportunity has presented itself.

First up is the official Springbank 21 year old that was bottled in 2005. Here's a photo of a bottle:
Old Springbank. It sounds awesome, right? But wait, there's more.

Doing the math... 2005 minus 21 equals 1984. But the distillery was closed in 1984. And 1983. And 1982. And 1981. And 1980. So the youngest possible whisky in the bottle would have been from 1979. Thus it's a 26 year old in 21 year old clothing.


Distillery: Springbank
Brand: Springbank
Owner: Springbank Distillers Ltd.
Region: Campbeltown
Maturation: probably some pretty nifty sherry casks
Age: 21 years per statement, but actual age is at least 26 years
Bottled: 2005
Limited bottling: 2400 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 46%
(Purchased at an LA Scotch Club event many years back)


The nose takes one on a little journey. Industrial dockside. Coal smoke. Tobacco. But then... nuts roasting in the oven, alongside an apple tart. Hints of jerk spice and cabernet sauvignon. Then raspberry syrup, pineapple and molasses. Damn.

The palate's tale is narrower but intense, and occasionally similar to the nose. It's dingy and oily. Tar. Smokestack. Earth and stones. Those Campbeltown dunnages. Very dry sherry meets a slight malty sweetness. Hints of bitter chocolate and anise. A subtle rooty bitterness. I could get used to this.

Focus continues to tighten in the finish. It still has the greasy industrial notes and dunnage. Hints of the ocean and bitterness. There's also chili pepper, lemon and salt. The smoke returns later.


Because the nose and palate notes speak for themselves, I'll waste no further words on them. *sobs*

The finish is briefer than expected and never reaches the heights of the nose and palate, yet it ends up leaving the palate feeling refreshed, like some mysterious aperitif.

This whisky......it's a completely different liquid than any single malt being produced today. I do have faith that the current Springbank folks could nail a similar style someday somehow. And maybe Benromach ten years from now, if they've got stuff sitting in sterling sherry casks. And if anyone really gave a crap about single malts at Ardmore, but they don't. Anyway, let us not dwell in the present anymore than we already do.

Let's see if I can top this whisky on Friday.

Availability - Auctions
Pricing - Under $500?! Where's my coin purse...
Rating - 92 (the finish knocks it down from 94-95, these scores are stupid)