In recent weeks, Springbank has released a flurry of official 21yo single casks for different markets, including the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Taiwan and Italy. As far as I know, all of them come from an Oloroso sherry hogshead.
Springbank also bottled a 21yo single cask for The Netherlands and Belgium, and I managed to get my hand on a couple of samples of both. I thought it be fun to make it a bit of a competition, and see which of the single casks I like best. We’ll start with the Dutch one, and then try the Belgian one. Here we go!
Springbank 21 (48%, OB, Bottled for Fourcroy, The Netherlands)
Nose: Subtle sherry influences. Fresh peaches, apircots and plum jam. Galia melon too. Just a hint of tobacco and some leather. A very mature and round nose. Taste: Oily. More apricots, some light honey notes too. A tad waxy. There’s a nice subtle amount of furniture polish and leather. Cloves. And now the peat finally shows too. Very restrained though, which is how I like it. While I found the first sip impressive already, it gets better with every sip thereafter. Finish: Wax, furniture polish and subtle peat. Long and delicious.
Springbank 21 (48,2%, OB, Bottled for The Nectar, Belgium)
Nose: The sherry influence is sophisticated. Plum juice, sweet oranges and peaches. Some overripe banana peel too. In the background there’s some tobacco leaves, honey and an über-subtle hint of peat. Taste: Nice and oily mouthfeel, always a plus. Sweet apricots and slightly bitter oranges, with some tobacco and furniture polish. Subtle, restrained peat. Also some cloves. Excellent balance. Finish: Slightly peppery, peaty and waxy. Long and beautiful.
These two Springbanks are very similar. The Dutch one is slightly fresher while the Belgian one is a tad sweeter, but as you can see my notes are very similar. Both are examples of a delicious older style of whisky.
I couldn’t give you a winner, not even if I started using half points (which I’d never do by the way). They’re close to 300 euro, which is a lot of money. But in the current market they represent good value for money.