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Friday, October 27, 2017

Beatrice Booze Report: Springbank 25 year old Millennium Collection

In 1998, J. & A. Mitchell & Co. Ltd., the owners of Springbank Distillery, released the Millennium Collection, probably the most erotic thing in the history of whisky (with apologies to Jim Murray).

The set was made up of a 25 year old, 30 year old, 35 year old, 40 year old, 45 year old and 50 year old Springbank single malt. Each of these whiskies took the form of one 700mL bottle and one 50mL bottle. The set included a certificate of authenticity and six wooden coffins. There were a total of 580 sets.


While this set appears in auctions every year (and I'll let you google its value), a number of original owners actually chose to break up the set and DRINK the whisky. Through the generosity of one of these crazies, the LA Scotch Club obtained a bottle of the 25yo, five years ago. We split it up, 30mL a piece. And now I am going to drink my sample of whisky history.

Distillery: Springbank
Brand: Springbank
Owner: Springbank Distillers Ltd.
Region: Campbeltown
Maturation: good casks ✔
Age: at least 25 years
Bottled: 1998
Limited bottling: 580 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 46%


The nose begins with a surprising amount of fruit: orange peel and dried cherries, as well as a cinnamon and apple baked treat. A swirl of toffee pudding, vanilla bean and nutmeg. Burlap and a hint of mossy peat. After 30 minutes, it's all anise, rosemary and oregano oils.

A surprise greets the palate as well: a heavy strike of peat and salt. Chimney and earth. Lemon and pepper and Underberg. Its creamy texture fills the mouth and reads as if it's cask strength.

Oh my. The finish is colossal. Earth, coal, pepper, lemon peel, mint leaves and herbal bitterness.


This was a revelation. No, not its tremendous quality, but its character. I was expecting a graceful heavily sherried thing. But the peat and herbs and fruit and filth carry the day. And it's gigantic.

The 2005 21 year old may be more detailed and drinky, but this one's remarkable finish sticks the landing better than almost any whisky I've tried. I'm thrilled to have had this opportunity to try these two whiskies, and am glad I was able to liberate them before the samples had spoiled.

(For a few more takes on this very bottle, please see the LAWS reviews here. The salted plum notes are pretty cool, I wish I'd thought of that!)

Availability - Auctions & a few European retailers
Pricing - Auctions: $1000-$2000, Retailers: $2000-$3000
Rating - 93

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