Sunday 7 August 2016

Tasted #307: Springbank Single Cask 20yo bottled exclusively for Tokyo International Bar Show 2016

Back in June we mentioned that the Tokyo International Bar Show (which I reviewed here) included a number of interesting bottles this year, from both Scotland and Japan. One of those was this Springbank - a 20 year old single cask, bottled exclusively for the show, from a "Fresh Sherry" cask. One of 492 bottles, it was distilled in May 1995, bottled in April 2016, and weighs in at 52.1% ABV.

You might think (as I did at first) that a single cask 20yo ex-sherried Springer might be somewhat I was pretty surprised when I saw it at the show. The colour was much lighter than expected - perhaps a 3rd/4th fill, or from an ex-Fino cask, or both?

Anyway, colour is but one way to assess a whisky...the important thing of course is how is noses and tastes. To that end, this bottle made its way from Japan back to HK, then onto Australia where it was cracked open with a few good mates. It then made its way back to HK, where I've finally had the time to sit down and give it a proper assessment...

Springbank Single Cask 20 year old (52.1% ABV, 20yo, Campbeltown, Scotland, ¥29,000 (no longer available))
Colour: Light yellow gold.

Nose: Rubbery at first, with some stone fruits (peaches, nectarines). There's a bit of brine / saltiness, and some hints of sweet jam.

Palate: Rich and bold up-front. The brine follows through onto the palate, quickly followed by big jammy donut notes. Like a sweet, sugary glazed donut filled with raspberry jam filling. Not really any discernible peat, but there's a bit of earthiness / vegetation towards the end.

Finish: Long and earthy, whilst retaining some of the jammy sweetness from the palate.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 92/100. A delicious, though unusual whisky. Certainly not the sherry bomb I'd expected, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. A fine example of a brilliantly made, though slightly left-field Campbeltown whisky.


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