Springbank 1996 21 Years Old (Starkicker)
Fresh sherry cask. Springbank. Twenty-one years old. Do you need to know more? No, I don’t think so either. I will say that this was bottled by/for an Austrian whisky club. Okay, enough chit-chat ( 😉 ), let’s get on with it.
Springbank 1996 21 Years Old (56%, OB for ‘Starkicker’, 120 bts.)
Nose: Extremely sherried, with notes of burnt caramel, aceto balsamico and a whiff of gun powder. There’s molasses here as well, followed by unfinished cherry wood and lots of dark forest fruits, with finally some raspberry. An attack of the senses for sure.
Taste: Thick and oily, with loads of sherry influence, but now also finally some of that lovely Springbank peat and brine. Good to see that the spirit still has a place here (as opposed to the nose), and it’s not all cask dominance. Hints of orange too, with plenty of spice to boot. Nutmeg, cloves, black pepper. Again, a whisper of gun powder.
Finish: Lingering spices and sweet sherry.
Very good, but Jesus H. Christ, that’s a lot of sherry influence. If you don’t care about balance, than this is the Springbank for you. That I still rate it as high as I do is a testament to the inherent quality of the Springbank distillate.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.