Springbank Extravaganza Tasting - Part I

Springbank Extravaganza Tasting - Part I

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A couple of months back a few good friends of mine and I got the brilliant idea to try and set a new 'world record' in tasting the most Springbank whiskies in one day. We wanted to have a Springbank Extravaganza! We pooled our resources (ie. our respective Springbank collections), and decided on a date. Why Springbank, you may ask? Well, we are all fans of this idiosyncratic Campbeltown distillery. We have all visited the distillery on one or more occasions, and in short it holds a special place in our whisky hearts. When the day arrived we started discussing in which order we should try the whiskies. While several wanted a more traditional approach, where you match all the different 10 YO, the 12 YO etc, we finally opted for a more oddball solution. We decided to sort the whiskies on vintage. The youngest whiskies we had available were a 7 YO and an 8 YO distilled in 2008, so this became the starting vintage. Then we worked our way backwards in time...and what a journey it would be!

We happened to have a staircase readily available so we started sorting through the bottles and placing two vintages per step, working our way up. We soon found that we had to limit ourselves to 'only' Springbank whisky. We had to leave out all our bottles of Longrow, Hazelburn and Kilkerran. Otherwise it would just have been way too much. As it was we ended up with a massive 71 bottlings!

Springbank Extravaganza - the staircase

Now to even consider starting on such a journey you have to have a couple of ground rules:

  • We would take our time, and we would have regular pauses, where we would get up and get some fresh air
  • We would use spittoons (Yes! Gasp! Shock! We were doing this to have a great experience. If you were to drink 71 drams, I can promise you we would not have remembered a thing, and if anything any 'experience' would be ruined)

OK, so here is the final line-up, and the order in which the whiskies were tasted:

  1. Springbank 7 YO Fresh Sauternes Open Day 2015 (L 11.2007-21.05.2015), 56,9 %
  2. Springbank 8 YO Fresh Sherry Butt Springbank Society 2016 (L 09.2007-04.2016), 57,2 %
  3. Springbank 10 YO Batch: 15/377 (L 05.09.15 15/377 ), 46 %
  4. Springbank 10 YO miniature (distilled ca 2004), 46 %
  5. Springbank 9 YO Springbank Open Day 2013 9 YO Refill Gaja Barolo, 58,6 %
  6. Springbank 10 YO Marrying Strength 2014, 49,3 %
  7. Springbank 12 YO Batch 11 (L 15/331), 53,8 %
  8. Springbank 12 YO Batch 12 (L 120116 1609), 54,1 %
  9. Springbank 12 YO Batch 6 (L 13/14), 53,1%
  10. Springbank 12 YO Green - bourbon (L 14/488), 46 %
  11. Springbank 13 YO Green - sherry (L 081015 ?), 46 %
  12. Springbank 11 YO Rundlets & Kilderkins (L 11.2001-01.2012), 49,3 %
  13. Springbank 8 YO 2001 Cognac cask (Cadenhead’s) (L 2001-2010), 58,5%
  14. Springbank 15 YO Batch 15/145, 46 %
  15. Springbank 16 YO 2000/2016 Fresh Sherry Single Cask for UK (04.2000-04.2016, 540 b), 54,2%
  16. Springbank 10 YO (1998-2008, Batch ?) ***
  17. Springbank 14 YO 1998/2012 Port (7Y) + Refill bourbon butt (7Y) Springbank Society 55,7 %
  18. Springbank 15 YO Batch 13/409, 46 %
  19. Springbank 10 YO Batch 09/300, 46 %
  20. Springbank 10 YO Bourbon barrel Open Day 2010, 61, 9%
  21. Springbank 15 YO miniature (distilled ca 1999), 46 %
  22. Springbank 15 YO Batch 14/287, 46 %
  23. Springbank 16 YO Local Barley 2016, 54,3 %
  24. Springbank 9 YO 1999 Ernst W Krüger Private Bottling Cask:247, 55,3 %
  25. Springbank 13 YO Local Barley Cask Sample, ?? %
  26. Springbank 14 YO Local Barley Refill Sherry Butt Springbank Society 10th anniversary (L 09.1999-04.2014),  57,8%
  27. Springbank 10 YO Batch 07/163, 46 %
  28. Springbank 11 YO Madeira Wood Expression (L 06.1997-01.2009), 55,1 %
  29. Springbank 15 YO 1997/2013 Bourbon (10Y) + Fresh Madeira (5Y) Springbank Society, 56,5%
  30. Springbank 10 YO Vintage 1997 Batch 1, 55,2 %
  31. Springbank 10 YO Vintage 1997 Batch 2, 54,9 %
  32. Springbank 18 YO 1997/2015 Recharred butt Springbank Society, 58,9%
  33. Springbank 19 YO 9.5.1997 - 20.5.2016 Warehouse sample Sherry Butt 58,8%
  34. Springbank 18 YO Batch 15/328, 46 %
  35. Springbank 9 YO 1996-2006 Marsala Wood, 55 %
  36. Springbank 10 YO Batch 06/202, 46 %
  37. Springbank 1996 Vintage for Jon Bertelsen Cask:373 (Bottled 2008), 57 %
  38. Springbank 18 YO Batch 14/11, 46%
  39. Springbank 1996 -2014 Whisk(e)y Shop Tara (L 147/1996 B 2014), 58,4%
  40. Springbank 10 YO (1995 - vanilla label with orange border), 46 %
  41. Springbank 10 YO 100 Proof (1995 - black label with red border), 57 %
  42. Springbank 19 YO 1995/2014 Dr Jekylls expression of …, 58,8%
  43. Springbank 10 YO 100 Proof (1994 - vanilla label with orange border) 57 %
  44. Springbank 21 YO Batch 15/52, 46 %
  45. Springbank 21 YO Springbank Open Day 2014 Rum Cask, 46 %
  46. Springbank 21 YO Springbank Open Day 2015 Refill Claret, 46 %
  47. Springbank 15 YO (L 07/171), 46 %
  48. Springbank 15 YO (L 08/315), 46 %
  49. Springbank 14 YO 1992/2007 Springbank Society Bottling Bourbon hogshead, 55,3%
  50. Springbank 10 YO Miniature (~1992), 46 %
  51. Springbank 10 YO (~1992), 46 %
  52. Springbank 12 YO 175th Anniversary, 46 %
  53. Springbank 18 YO Batch 10/02, 46 %
  54. Springbank 21 YO Batch 13/1, 46 %
  55. Springbank 21 YO Batch 13/491, 46 %
  56. Springbank 21 YO 1993 Private Cask Refill Sherry Hogshead 1-1993, 52,6%
  57. Springbank 21 YO (#01-89), 46 %
  58. Springbank 21 YO “Jagged edge” (~1995), 46 %
  59. Springbank 12 YO 1991/2004 Bourbon wood expression (L 12.1991-02.2004), 58,5 %
  60. Springbank 16 YO 1991/2007 Rum wood expression, 54,2 %
  61. Springbank 18 YO 1989/2007 Old Malt Cask Refill hogshead DL 3964, 50 %
  62. Springbank 20 YO 1991/2011 Old & Rare Refill Hogshead, 52,9 %
  63. Springbank 12 YO 1989/2002 Rum wood expression, 54,6 %
  64. Springbank 13 YO 1989/2003 Port wood expression (L 1989-02.2003), 54,2 %
  65. Springbank 25 YO (bottled 2006 - brown label), 46 %
  66. Springbank 25 YO Limited Edition 2014 (L 14/470), 46 %
  67. Springbank 32 YO (bottled 2004), 46 %
  68. Springbank 26 YO 1974/2000 Cask: 153, 44,9 %
  69. Springbank 1967/1998 Cask: MM 1314 Murray McDavid, 43 %
  70. Springbank 30 YO 1970/2000 Millennium, 46 %
  71. Springbank 36 YO 1965/2001 Local Barley Cask:9, 52,4 %

At the end of this, we felt a dram with a bit more punch was in place, so we added this:

Bonus whisky: Longbow 21 YO Springbank Open Day 2016, 46 %

Springbank Extravaganza - the 21 YOs

It was of course completely impossible to do any serious tasting notes with such a massive amount of whiskies. However, I did give all the whiskies a quick rating, and ended up with this top 5 list:

  • 96/100: Springbank 26 YO 1974/2000 Cask: 153, 44,9 %
  • 94/100: Springbank 21 YO 1993 Private Cask Refill Sherry Hogshead 1-1993, 52,6%
  • 93/100: Springbank 36 YO 1965/2001 Local Barley Cask:9, 52,4 %
  • 93/100: Springbank 32 YO (bottled 2004), 46 %
  • 92/100: Springbank 21 YO “Jagged edge” (~1995), 46 %

Springbank Extravaganza - the 1974

Honorable mentions to these: Springbank 7 YO Fresh Sauternes Open Day 2015, Springbank 19 YO 1995/2014 Dr Jekylls expression of …

The real duds were: Springbank 12 YO 175th Anniversary, Springbank 10 YO Vintage 1997 Batch 2.

Now we are planning the next extravaganza. After all, we still have to work our way through the Longrow, Hazelburn and Kilkerran.

Sláinte! - Thomas

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