Springbank 21 (1999), 41.8%ABV, Whisky Broker, Sherry Hogshead.

Appearance – It’s a lovely deep amber in colour, it’s very viscous on the glass, and takes some time before dropping thick syrupy legs.

Nose – First off, it nosed higher than 41.8% ABV, and the first aroma I get is menthol, then a slight foam banana sweet note, followed by peach/nectarine sweetness, some mustiness comes through, then apricots, it’s so well married that it’s not an easy one to pick apart, I’ll give it some more time. Now we have cereals, linseed oil, there is a stewed dark fruit fusion which I still can’t pull apart but is fantastic and syrupy sweet. The last of the nose offers me hand rolling tobacco, black cherries, dunnage, wood varnish and an earthiness.

Palate – The palate is gently spicy, there’s ginger, nutmeg, black pepper, cardamom, black liquorice and old leather, followed by high cocoa content bitter dark chocolate, oak, as if I’d actually licked a piece, there’s a feint whiff of smoke, the dark fruits are still here but are more in the background, though like the nose black cherries can be picked out quite easily, and there’s a briefest hint of perfume and the foam banana from the nose, It has a good mouthfeel, and there’s also a hint of salt right at the back, mixed with linseed oil, they only come out to play right before the finish starts.

Finish – I’d say the finish is medium in length, again it’s oily in flavour and texture, the spices are lovely and warming, the salinity carries through here to the very end, and an icing sugar sweetness pops it’s head up before it all slowly fades.

My thoughts – It’s been an absolute pleasure to try a Springbank of this age, and I have to say it’s a worthwhile experience, it’s quite restrained and gentle, and very well married with plenty of flavour to offer.

Would I buy a bottle? – Yes, it’s a super bottling, and how often do you get a chance to try a 21 yr old Springbank anyway? 🤔 very rarely, if ever.

Thanks to – @DomsWhisky (Twitter) for the generous sample and permission to use his image of it.

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