22 year old single cask Springbank is something that most whisky enthusiasts are going to get excited about. This example is straight down the line ex-bourbon at 55% ABV. The cost is less exciting alas - £344.99 a pop. Ouch.
Nose: Rather delicate, but with immediate steeliness – chiselled limestone and hewn rocks. These are supported by heavily reduced orchard fruits alongside some Campbeltown funk – diesel, engine oils, pungent smoked unripe tropical fruit and ozone. In the background damp earthiness. The addition of water increases the fruit concentration (especially stone fruits) and reduces the minerality. Given this, it becomes much more expressive.
Taste: Bold and impactful – sherbet covered citrus, plenty of leather and an array of vegetal notes – tomatoes and chilli peppers. Slight salinity and more smoke than the nose – mineral, coal dust, ash and chalkiness. Water adds some real unctuousness to the palate with tangy limes and orange peels sitting alongside chocolate covered Rich Tea biscuits. All-in-all a pretty perfect combination.
Finish: Long, slightly chalky and with plenty of ashy citrus-led smoke.
To my mind, Springbank is currently one of Scotland’s most consistent distilleries – but, it has also become of one of most expensive independently bottled expressions. This Claxton’s 22 year old is no exception – the price is frankly eye-watering – considerably higher than the OB 21 year old (though of course delivered at a higher strength). It’s not all that long ago that Springbank offered an affordable private cask scheme - how times have changed. But, on liquid quality alone this is crackerjack.
Review sample provided by Claxtons