Three Springbank expressions all matured in small barrels (15 and 18 gallons) so as to mature faster. At the Springbank masterclass, David Allen told us that they wouldn’t ever make any more Rundlets and Kilderkins expressions as the cost was too high – they should just put the bottle price up!
Hazelburn Rundlets and Kilderkins A⊕+
Nose - Intensely sweet, fruity, cherried, light, sweet men's perfume and waxy leather. Much more wax and expense than I remember at the masterclass. A peat edge, some black pepper and some charcoal. Great depth balanced by charred oak notes.
Body - Creamy, sweet, toffee and some spice. Chocolate notes and a little swimming pool. Intense, sappy pine.
Finish - Medium, chocolaty, fizzing at the end. Great light sulphur and petrol tones. Just delicious.
What’s not good about it - Very little, perhaps a little on the sherbety, fizzing, light side (due to the 2.5x distillation perhaps) but that’s its character.
What’s good about it - Deep complexity, intensity and balance. Great fruit and toffee delivery, some chocolate, balanced wood and spice. Lovely stuff.
Springbank Rundlets and Kilderkins A+
Nose - Immediately arresting, very, very lovely on the nose. Deep dark wax, toffee, old wood, juicy red fruit and leather, raspberry and cherry liqueur, and brown sugar dissolved in melted butter. The sweet fruit is expertly balanced again, with spicy, waxed wood, bright leather and light herbal notes of sage and rosemary. With water, the fruit recedes a little leaving a little more in the way of cigar tobacco, leather and light toasty, toffeed peat. Still lovely.
Body - Oily, a little fried fish, toasty, raisins, some intensity but quite restrained (in some dimensions) given what I was expecting from the nose.
Finish - Long, oily, rich and good apple juice and intense pine wood.
What’s not good about it - The delivery lacks a bit of balance and fruit, water doesn’t open it up much. A small let down given the nose. Some unwelcome bitterness in the finish.
What’s good about it - But what a fabulous nose. Loads of balanced, intense fruit and dark tones, great complexity.
The Springbank has such a wonderful nose I’m disappointed that the body isn’t quite so stunning. It’s not bad - it’s just shown up compared to the Hazelburn which does deliver, and to my expectations. Thanks to Chris for the sample!
Longrow Rundlets and Kilderkins A⊕+
Body - Smooth, intense delivery, with unripe apples, intense toffee, musky leather and book bindings. A torrent of oak and malted barley.
Finish - Long, sour cherries, toffee pennies. Wonderful balance and character, complexity and confidence.
What’s not good about it - I guess challenging - the character is toasted, savoury vinegar offset with balanced peat so it’s quite a toothsome, fish and chipsey kind of dram.
What’s good about it - But that’s pulled off effortless and with real virtuosity. Complexity, character, integration and balance are all spot on, plus it’s really different. It’s almost like a good blend, the range of components and their integration. I love it.
Thanks to Chris for the sample again!
HazelRowBank Rundlets and Kilderkins A⊕
Ralfy did it so I thought I would too, but with the Rundlets and Kilderkins range. Equal proportions of each three, “bottle matured” for 2 weeks in a 3cl sample bottle.
Nose - Sweet with red cherry and light wax, offset with a subtle coastal smoke, loads of apple and red apple skin. A little ozone. A rather lovely, classy toasted peated edge, some cigar tobacco and toffee apple. Very good!
Body - Sweet, cigars, a little vegetal, bright pine notes, waxy and long oily salted caramels.
Finish - Quite long, loads of cigar, oily toffee penny and a little bit of damp charred oak.
What’s not good about it - Well, you have to buy three bottles to make it. The initial part of the delivery is a little thin or perfumy, but that’s made up for almost immediately.
What’s good about it - But otherwise it’s actually pretty good. Loads of toffee, great light peat, like the musky, dirty backing to the fruity wax. Tempted to make more than 3cl now...