Thursday, 21 November 2019

Old Springbanks

Claxton Whisky, Springbank 22 years old, 55% A+
10.05.1996, bourbon hogs head
Nose - Men’s perfume, warm apple juice, black sesame cake with gentle refreshers and something like fairy liquid-warm laundry or a hair drier on shampooed hair.  Perfumed, then.  But of course meaty and perfectly Campbeltown.  
Body - Very elegant, dusty and perfumed again, absolutely delicious with fizzing vanilla and sparklers, ethereal but well earthed.  Very well judged.
Finish - Medium with Christmas oranges, sherbet dib dabs, banana foam sweets, licked perfume and pepper on the lips.  Very citrusy at the end, with old varnish and lots of wood oils.

An otherworldly old Springer - but fizzing and peppery too, plenty of Campbeltown still in it.  22 in Campbeltown is like 42 elsewhere, but the peat is still 22 years old.  It’s a wonderful whisky, anyway.

Springbank 24 years old, official bottling A+’
A million thanks to Ronnie for a sample on this!
Nose - Dank and fruity, overripe apples and raisins.  Extremely sweet and very (if dirtily and softly) sherried.  Underneath; old, damp wood, black and soft, with blackcurrants, Victoria sponge, whistle pops.
Body - Wow… ethereal but so much darker - cloves, black fruits (berries, plums), bandages and retronasal fireworks (literally not metaphorically).  
Finish - Very long and really quite medicinal, with lots of fizzing fruit, clove, iodine and an undercurrent of Campbeltown damp peat.  
This is 11/10 on the interesting and 7/10 on challenging, but the real trick is 9/10 on luxurious and delicious.

What a cask.  I love the black fruit and cloves, the fizzing, medicinal woods, and the very long, balanced and fascinating finish.  Very good indeed.

Springbank 1973 CA, Rum Cask 57.5% A
Nose - blimey.  Dusty with sour fruits, gunpowder and something inbetween travel sweets and cough candy.  Very clean and fresh, but somehow sourly dirty and medicinal, with engine oil and cherry tunes deep in the sinuses.
Body - Coal dust, sweetshop fruits, burnt tannins, clove chocolate and fried red chilli.  Pure Springbank too, pure Campbeltown dust.
Finish - Extremely long, with damp burnt wood, balsa, carbon paper, slightly rotten apples and liquorice.  

Extremely special, a perfect expression of old Campbeltown and bottled at only 18 and full strength, really hooks you in by the hind brain.  Thank you so much for this sample Ian, and double thanks to Alan who gave him the sample!  I'm going to spend the next hour finishing it.

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