On this day, Springbank’s festival bottlings are released. Otherwise, everyday is Springbank Day with events going on throughout the week.
Today is the first time I properly experienced a festival-[flipper’s] queue. I’ll spare you the pictures. I spent an hour or so in said queue talking to new faces. One guy had been coming to the Campbeltown Malts Festival for more than 30 years. His whisky collection had grown so large, reinforcement steel beams had to be installed after his ceiling began to sag. Nearly 3000 bottles I believe he had, most of them open.
As time passes, so does the whisky. Many have bought cases of the festival bottlings and occasional bottles are opened, passed down the line and shared. I don’t get to try the Hazelburn, though that comes up later in the day at the ‘How it’s Made’ masterclass [notes to follow]. I do get to try the 21yo Madeira cask Springbank, rumblings of which suggest divided opinion.
Recipe: Take one sherry & one Madeira hogshead [both 1996 vintages], and marry them together in a first-fill Madeira butt from 2008 until 2018.
- C: This really did divide opinion. Many loved it whilst others despised it. I fell into the latter group, finding it like a sherry & whisky mixed cocktail. Regardless of the price [£250!], and the second hand market opportunity, I found little to shout about.
Provisionally scores 82 points. Fortunately, I get to try this in slightly more advantageous conditions later on [Blog]
- C: The maturity and composition is good with some dirty complexities thrown in for good measure. For £60, this is a bottle I’m happy to buy. This [along with the Hazelburn], I tried later on and found it just as appealing [notes to follow].
Scores 87 points
Longmorn 1966/2011 45yo GM Viking Line cask #283 [228 bts] 47.5% WB90.63
I don’t remember who poured me this, but it could well have been tOMoH & co.
- N: With a healthy freshness, I picked up nutty cereal notes, a hint of chestnut, rye without spice, garam masala, cumin, felt, hessian,…. the shopping list just flowed.
- T: With the oak initially dominant, it opens with a terrific snap, crackle & pop. Whilst slightly lacking the clarity & flow of the nose, oaky juice follows. After a few minutes there’s way more fruity honey as the cask dies down. No way I’d have guessed 45yo, more 18.
- F: Oaky malty< mineral-y.
- C: An oldie that is super fresh and youthful, and though it’s also consolidated, hi-fidelity separation is also discernible. With thanks to,….?
Scores 89 points
There’s far more Springbank action to follow.