ABV: 47.5% Distillery: Springbank Bottler: That Boutique-y Whisky Company Region: Campbeltown
Merry Christmas everyone! Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing today, The Dramble team wish you a very happy holiday and thank you for visiting us in 2018. We’ll be taking a well-earned break for the remainder of 2018, but before we put down our glasses and pens, we have one final review to bring you in the form of door number 24 from the 2018 Boutique-y Advent calendar. Turns out, it’s rather the treat to kick off this year’s festivities - Springbank 21 year old Batch 8.
Boutique-y’s eight batch of Springbank has been matured for 21 years and is delivered at 47.5% . Whilst unannounced on the bottle, I read this has some madeira influence (and my tasting notes would seem to confirm this) – though I’ve been unable to ascertain whether this influence is part-term or full term, a parcel, or all of the liquid. Mysterious but certainly integral to the resultant whisky. 911 bottles have been produced and they’ll each set you back £339.95 from Master of Malt – we hope you were on the good list this year.
In poultry terms, this 50cl bottle equates to roughly 6.5 family-sized Christmas Turkeys. Vegetable-wise, you’re looking at either 680 kilograms of potatoes, or close to 6,000 individual carrots. Or, if you’re in possession of a sweet-tooth - 42.5 Waitrose 112 month matured Christmas puddings could be yours. Yes, indie Springbank has become ungodly expensive. But, this is still probably the perfect dram to end the 2018 Boutique-y Advent calendar with, because, regardless of the price and silly comparisons, Springbank to my mind are one of (if not the most) consistently great producers out there currently.
Nose: Oat cakes and malts are supported by hedgerow berries and a vein of salted caramel. Never far away is the Springbank pungency – earthy and a wee bit smoky with scorched damp soil, pottery clay and just a hint of engine-room funk. After a short period of resting the madeira influence makes itself known with bright and juicy tangerines, orange marmalade and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Reduction introduces some warmer spices (quite Christmassy in fact – cloves and anise) alongside hessian cloth and leather chamois.
Taste: Jammy berries and orange segments sit with chocolate sauce and toffee caramel. As soon as the palate has processed these, alluvial qualities come to the fore – soils, mosses and plenty of salinity. The mid-palate introduces burnt pan sugars, and some well-polished/lacquered wood, alongside a heathery quality – part smoky, part herbal and hillside. The addition of water brings out malty sweetness as well as some funk – engine oils, cogs and gears. After a time, these make way for tangerines and clementines.
Finish: Quite long with dry old wood, stewed berry fruits, charred cask ends and a scattering of brown sugar.
Boutique-y’s Springbank 21 year old Batch 8 certainly is a Christmas cracker. The madeira influence is both well-integrated and responsible for introducing a lovely bright juicy sweetness, which sits surprisingly well with Springbank’s underlying spirit character. The two together provide an excellent equilibrium between sweet and bitter that’s as tasty as it is interesting. A great whisky to see in the 2018 holiday season. Sláinte mhaith - have a great Christmas guys.
Review calendar provided by Boutique-y Whisky
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