One from days long gone. A 32 year old distillery bottling from Campbeltown’s mecca of tradition and heritage. This is the type of malt that Springbank built its name and reputation on. A mate of mine contends they are nowhere near this sort of punching power now (and he may be right), but they are still certainly one the best out there.
Rumours suggest Springbank exhausted most of their stocks of mature spirit a few years back and have been playing catch-up ever since. Seems plausible, as for a while the oldest age-stated release we were seeing from this brand was the 18. A couple years later the 21 returned with a gold-embossed flourish. And in recent days the 25 has sprung up with a bit of its own fanfare. The 21…was just ok. Nothing like the 21 from years back. And the 25, though I’ve yet to try, recently got lambasted by our friend Serge at Whiskyfun. I’ll be tasting that one in just a few weeks time. Hope to be able to let you know.
But this old 32…this is pretty much everything I could possibly ask for in a wizened old dram from the Mull of Kintyre. It’s bold and balanced; strong and natural; unique and absolutely spot on in terms of distillery character.
Nose: Smoke and wax. The smell of old wood and dunnage warehouses. Coconut milk and soft pineapple juice. Soft fruits in syrup. Orange, both flesh and zest. Vanilla and oak. Some tame baking spices. Becomes fruitier and fruitier over time.
Palate: There’s the maturity. Waxy…smoky and oaky. Definitely speaks of great barrel aging. Dried fruit…apricot maybe. A hint of creosote. Gorgeous, gorgeous oak notes.
Thoughts: One of my favorite Springbank releases to date. Sadly, malts from this distillery and at this age are both few and far between and extremely cost prohibitive. Oh, well. At least we can say we had it.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt