By: David Othenin-Girard
K&L Staff Member
I was absolutely obsessed with the magical 22 year old Springbank we sold last year. That special cask only turned out 78 bottles and I was under the impression that the rest had gone to Europe. Now I'm not so sure. When Hunter Laing said they had another 108 bottles of 22 year old Springbank, they couldn't confirm that it wasn't the exact same. Upon tasting it there's almost no doubt that this is either the same cask or a sister cask of very similar quality. It's a pretty weird thing to have happen, especially when Scotland is being tight lipped about it, but I'm not complaining or questioning it for one second. I think I called last years whisky, "a living legend in our midst." It's sounds like hyperbole, but this is truly one of the finest modern Springbank I've ever tasted. Very much in the old style although it begins rather restrained it's packed with layer upon layer of complex flavor. Light peat, camphor, new Jordans, expensive non-scented candles. On the palate surprising big Campbeltown peat. Big smoke, tons of tension. But with just a little tiny smidge of water, the nose explodes from the glass. Soot, cigars, lemons, leather, creosote, fresh tennis balls, quince jam, chamomile, coriander, thujone, more and more keeps coming out. On the palate it's now pure highland peat smoked lemons, menthol, citrus oil, green tea, hints of candied stone fruits, grains of paradise and almost numbing feeling that brings me back to absinthe. The finish is long and lingering, the menthol note keeps coming back with every breath in. This one is emotional. Satisfying to the soul. Exhausting. I'm winded. We keep pointing back at Springbank, there's just nothing like it. The difference between modern whisky and real whisky, the answer is right here.