Today we have to thank our friend GPP for the amazing gift of a special sample: it’s a Springbank 15 years old from the 80s, those bottles with a black label… These bottles are quite rare, because at the time they were drunk and not put in a garage and in an excel sheet waiting for future profits; and since they have the reputation of being spectacular whiskys, they are now only available at auction at insanely prohibitive prices. We are lucky people, huh?
N: the impact on the nose is exciting: there is an explosive and unusual tropicality (unusuale for today’s Springbanks) mostly made of ripe papaya. Then citrus fruits, a lot of: chinotto. There are oily notes of course (engine oil, or the gears of a watch: there is a sense of oiled metal), while compared to the current Springbanks there is no coastal seaworthiness. A drizzle of peat: the image we have in mind is the asphalt of a gas station in August, after a few drops of diesel fell on the ground. Old paper patina, greaseproof paper. Citrus grows over time, going from chinotto to cedar.
P: my god, that’s the stuff. It gains an unexpected acidity, with many citrus fruits. Then again that sense of “old and damp” which we would summarize with old paper, honeycomb and wax. The fruit recedes a little, with less tropicality (just pineapple). There is a really interesting and delicate flavor here, with a saline tip (without however becoming marine). There’s something sweet, pastry-like, that could be a small panettone. Incredibly harmonious, very elegant and very fresh: sweetened mint tea comes to mind. The peat is there, slightly smoked here (let’s say “tailpipe”) and perceived only towards the end.
F: here comes white pepper, then butter, carobs and more fruit. The peat emerges more clearly, and lasts long… Persistent and intense.
Enchanting, above all we’re stunned by the elegance and perfect integration between each and every element, even the most disconnected, apparently. Today’s rudeness typical of Campbeltown is not here, at all: it seems this dram attended courses in Oxford. 92/100. Brilliant stuff.
Recommended soundtrack: Daniele Baldelli & Marco Fratty – Jasmine Flavour.