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Springbank 21 ‘pear shape’ (’70s, OB, 43%)

We wouldn’t know how to start the month with more arrogance: the 21 years of Springbank, in every version, is always an excellent malt; we have in our hands two dram of a version on the market in the 70s, a bottle famous for its ‘pear’ shape. Thanks to Betty for the wonderful gift! Mid-century whiskies always seem to us to have a common characteristic, like a veil that makes them very smooth… Could it be bottle ageing? Will it be a different production and a less standardised peat? Could it be a quality malt that is no more? Or more respectful woods? Will it be time to stop?

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N: the fact is that even this Springbank seems to have that veil, a mixture of mineral, vegetable and malty, which comes out in the foreground along with a powerful fruity side. Yellow fruit, immediately: pear and apple in evidence, but also pineapple (tropical suggestion: maracuja?) and citrus fruit (lemon, both peel and lemonade). Wood and a bit of almond oil. Very good, in its intense and multifaceted ‘simplicity’ of malt whisky.

P: the attack is surprising: really very ‘bitter’ and discreet, the malt is attention-seeking. The body seems lazy due to the many years of bottle-aging. Everything is refined and smooth, without explosions of flavour. However, it is not lacking in intensity and after a first phase comes the fruit (consistency with the nose: pear and lemon and pineapple), then again almond / hazelnut. Malt and peat dominate, however, with great elegance: flavours of the past that will not return.

F: fruit, malt, very light vegetable peat; very clean, long but discreet, almond / hazelnut and citrus.

What a pleasure, we would never get tired of this. An enchanting nose; a clean, refined herbaceous and malty palate. Simple, if you like, and a bit refreshed by time; but it is really good, good, good. 89/100 is the first verdict of the month that will bring excellent Whiskyfacile minds to the age of thirty. We are getting better (and better looking) with time.

Recommended soundtrack: Nina SimoneI got it bad & that ain’t good.

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