Sunday, July 13, 2014

Springbank 1967, 35 Year Old, Duncan Taylor Peerless, 40.5%

Single (bourbon) cask Springbank from the '60s?! Bloody hell, yes thanks.

The regular reader of this blog (Hi mum) will know that Springbank remains one of my favourite distilleries, so when I saw this sample for sale at I had to get me some.

How different would it be to the modern day releases? Not too much has changed in the distillation process at Springbank over the intervening years, but I expect we'll still find some interesting differences and divergences.

Springbank 1967, 35 Year Old, Duncan Taylor Peerless, 40.5%

[You'll note that the label states the vintage as 1965, but it is fact 1967, from cask no. 1943. This is a labelling error. There was in fact no DT Springbank from 1965, as far as I can tell.]

Nose: Straight out of the bottle there's sweet grassy peat. Wow, interesting. Soon, lovely (and readily recognisable) salty notes develop, and these begin to dominate as time passes. Later still, stonefruits emerge, along with some leather and tobacco notes.
The addition of water does little for the nose.

Palate: A little spicy upon entry, creating a lively front palate. There's peach and honey at first, followed quickly by leather, meat and smoke. It hasn't got a massive presence in the mouth, but neither is it too light nor hollow. (Looking at the ABV, they've obviously bottled this as late as they possibly could, just making it to that 35 years). There's a real ebb-and-flow quality to the palate. It changes back every time you think you've got a handle on it.

Water levels things out somewhat. It's not exactly flattened, more a cessation of that aforementioned tidal quality.

Finish: Lovely transition here, as those notes from the palate are joined by lit cigars and spice, with that stonefruit lingering in the background. The medium-long, dry finish trails off in a wisp of smoke. Nice.

Quite a complex, changeable beast, this one, with hints of peat and smoke that recall Brora and even Caol Ila. Yet it's clearly Springbank, in all its dry, salty, leathery glory.

This aged malt just feels and tastes old school. Comfortable but challenging. Familiar but exciting. And so enjoyable to drink. 

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