Review: Springbank 19 Years Old 1997 Sherry Butt

Category: Campbeltown single malt scotch whisky

Origin: Springbank Distillery

Bottling: Cadenhead’s; Springbank Warehouse Tasting

ABV: 58.8%

Cost: £103.32

Springbank-19-years-old-recharred-sherry-butt-warehouse-tasting

What they say:

Distilled 9th May 1997 and matured for 19 years in a rec-charred sherry butt before bottling on 20th May 2016 at cask strength 58.8% ABV.

From Bens Whisky

Nose – Big, ripe, important, classical. Absolutely beautiful. So… it’s fresh, with apple juice, orange wax and lime cordial. But deep and old with rosemary, big old cask (like a 40 year old refill bourbon that’s almost black) and an enticing, slightly alien back note of whiteboard markers and poster paints. And grapes. And then that kind of super-sherry you usually get from Douglas Laing XOP casks.

Body – Speechless. It’s old Springbank. Deep rich tannins against orange cream, waxes galore. Way older than 19, and nowhere near over the hill, it’s big, fruity and complex. At 60% it’s incredible neckable, but with water it’s perhaps even better… woodier perhaps? But spread out over your tongue like paper chromatography so it’s slightly less overwhelming.

Finish – Very, very long. Chocolate orange, ice cream sandwiches made with phish food, deep sherry.

What I say:

From Ben of Bens Whisky recent attendance at the Campbeltown Malts Festival 2016. A selection of goodies were acquired and brought home for more in depth tasting and analysis and luckily I got to share a little of this old re-charred sherry cask Springbank example. Also I thought this was the final Springer in my recent tasting list but it is not as there is still a 16yo SMWS and 21yo Douglas Laing sample hiding away in my archive somewhere… time for a rummage…

Colour:

Refractive bronzed gold with ruby highlights (13/20) slow fine tears & fine legs

Nose:

Fruity and beery/malty, heady vanilla essence so thick it is almost maple syrup – calls to mind vanilla French toast with maple syrup and bacon, fruity; raisin, fig, plum, cherry ‘red fruits’, sherry and leather, nutty almond & hazelnut, milk chocolate, slated caramel, toffee, butterscotch, rum & raisin fudge, some cinnamon and more vanilla essence!

Taste:

Very smooth, spun sugar, candyfloss, salty leather, nutty hazelnut, almond, walnut, raisin, figs, more spiced than the nose, cinnamon powder, pepper, a little bitter, eucalyptus and engine oil, clarified sugar but dirty/burnt, smoke, liquid burnt crème brulee topping! and fruit & nut chocolate bars

Finish:

Medium-long, sherried, tannins, vanilla essence, menthol/eucalyptus and rich toffee

Overall:

Extremely nice, a little crystalline/fragile in the finish with hints of menthol and eucalyptus which I assume come from the re-char cask influence but still plenty of sherry in here too as well as core Springbank quality!

Score: 89/100

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