Many distilleries have a Facebook group run by fans, but I don’t think there’s one as devoted as It’s All About Springbank. It has over 3,000 members (I’m one of them), and sometimes there are some cult like tendencies. But to be fair, if any distillery warrants that, it is Springbank.
A dedicated Springbank bottling for members of the group was just a matter of time. Now, finding a cask of Springbank is not easy, but finally a cask was sourced, which was then bottled by Whiskybroker.co.uk. However, it turned out not to be your average kind of Springbank.
First off, 25 years is old. In the past few years there have been several Springbanks from independent bottlers at or around 21 years old, but I can’t think of a quarter century old Springbank. The most eye-catching thing about this bottling though, is the wood it matured in.
For the first sixteen years, everything was fine. Maturation in an ex-bourbon barrel, nothing out of the ordinary. However, this whisky spent the final nine years in an ex-red wine cask. That’s usually not a good sign. Nevertheless, this whisky sold like gangbusters at 300 pounds per bottle. I’m praying for divinity, but preparing for disaster.
Springbank 25 Years Old (47.5%, IAAS, 183 bts.)
Nose: Hints of blackcurrant and raspberries as well as lemon zest, with a proper amount of dunnage and a whiff of brine. Bung cloth, rust, decaying leaves. It has a nice minerality to it as well, with an earthy peat. No lack of balance here either. Taste: The same kinds of flavours pop up here as well, yet they’re not as integrated as the nose is. First there’s the wine. Thick, sweet, fruity and with too much sulphur (which I surprisingly did not detect on the nose). Then hidden behind it, is just a hint of that Springbank DNA, but not much. Soft minerals and gentle peat, with a briny quality, as well as a dunnage earthiness. Finish: More of the above. Medium in length.
I love that this is such a divisive dram. While it wouldn’t call it a disaster (not even close), it is far from whisky heaven. For me, it was the right decision not to buy a bottle of this, that would’ve turned out to be a disappointment.