In 2017 I moved from the first house my wife, children and I lived in together to our current home, which we bought from my mother when she moved into a condo. It’s a great house to grow up in, on a quiet street to bike on, with a mountain of snow that the ploughs create in the winter to play on.
I was faced with a challenge. By that time I had accumulated a pretty large whisky collection. Before the movers came all the bottles were moved and safely stored in a closet out of the way, and the cabinets were moved to our new home. But the bottles and glassware still needed to be moved and the shelves restocked so that everything would fit.
Thankfully, @Paddockjudge came to the rescue. He came down to visit and together we moved each bottle, from my most prized Amruts to my bottle of Lambertus, and every sample. We only lost one mini Glencairn to breakage. After we were done, we had a few drams and opened a couple of bottles to celebrate. Because at that point I had lived at that house for 12 years (summers home from school not included), we opened some 12 YO bottles including this Springbank.
I decanted this batch into an 8 oz bottle in 2019 and it saw infrequent activity, but now I’m down to the last 2-3 ounces and it’s high time for a review.
This batch was an earlier one for Springbank, when they relied more heavily on ex-sherry casks for maturation. Last September I opened a more recent batch (a gift from @fiddich1980 in 2020) and I reviewed it the same day as this on in order to compare. You can see that review here:
This expression was reviewed in a Brilliant Highland Whisky Glass in my usual manner on January 21, allowing it to settle after which I took my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting.
Rich, dark fruits, baking spices. Water slightly broadens the spectrum of the fruits in the nose. (22.5/25)
Rich, sweet. Baking spices. Dried fruits (cherries, hint of prunes). Hint of chocolate. Sweet and sour fruits on the development. You can tell there’s peat but it does not overwhelm. Water makes the mouthfeel a little thinner, no real change in the flavour. (22/25)
Astringent, peppery, medium long.
Score: Neat - 88/100 With Water: 87.5/100
Compared to batch 20 the nose has darker fruit notes and is less bright. The palate is sweeter and exhibits darker fruits. Both are great whiskies in their own rights.
The two batches mixed together in equal volumes are quite tasty. The spiciness of the more recent batch and the peat combine nicely. The dark fruits of the older batch are there in the background.
This is a solid, dependable whisky. I would want to have a bottle of this (any batch) in my cabinet at all times. It’s so hard to get these days, so I recommend that if you see a bottle anywhere, at a price you can afford, pick it up.