Springbank Vintage 1996 55.8% Cask No 269

Springbank is a family owned distillery in Campbeltown. So far, I’ve had good experiences with whiskies from these folks.

  • A few years ago we sampled the delightful Springbank 18 year, paired with desert.
  • And long before I even imagined recording tasting notes, a Longrow had a most enjoyable peaty time in my whisky cabinet til the last drop was polished off!
  • During my last trip to Singapore, I enjoyed their Hazelburn 12 year and was sorely tempted to pick up the Hazelburn 8 year 1st bottling.

So when a Springbank was part of Canadian stash from my aunt and uncle? Let’s just say, I was looking forward…

Springbank Vintage 1996

Springbank Vintage 1996

Springbank Vintage 1996 55.8% Cask No 269

  • Colour – Amber
  • Nose – Rich, slightly medicinal, honeycomb, ripe plum, vanilla, toffee
  • Taste – Plums burst into chewy raisins, cereal, oily, a bit spicy, there is strength here, a toughness of character that is earthy, lots of dried fruits and a hint of cinnamon bark, meaty
  • Finish – Very different kind of bitter chocolate, burnt quality, leather… think dark chocolate covered raisins with a dusting of cinnamon, much longer than anticipated…
  • Water – Punches up the sweet quotient in the most delicious way! As expected, kicks up the spice too but then the chewy bark-like quality on the palate mellowed and gained a toffee element to cover the yummy dried fruits and berries
  • Overall – Bold and beautiful! This is no light spring dance or sunny summer romp, instead this whisky is bursting with the golden hues and blazing fire of autumn. In short – I want more!

Unfortunately I do not know what year this was bottled, however there enough going on here to warrant paying attention, regardless of age.

There also were no official tasting notes available, however I did find a few other folks with their observations about other 1996 vintages:

Can’t wait to dig in to the next one from the Canadian sampling stash…

Canadian stash

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Hazelburn 12 year 46%

My astute whisky sampling companion in Singapore selected the Hazelburn 12 year at Quaich bar. Thank goodness as our first sample – the Glengassaugh Torfa – simply wasn’t to our taste!
Hazelburn 12 year (Whisky Lady)

Hazelburn 12 year (Whisky Lady)

Hazelburn 12 year
  • Nose – Clear sherry element with caramel, fruit – particularly plums. A hint of cinnamon, nutmeg and then dried fruits. Quite peaceful… with wet moss, a drizzle of rain… After sampling and more time to breathe, the nose gained even more sugar until it became almost too sweet like sugary orange marmalade
  • Palate – Well-structured, balanced, smooth, spice with a very pleasant curl of smoke, not ‘chewy’ but has some substance with darker elements – roasted coffee and chocolate?
  •  Finish –  Some warm spice, licorice, sweet…
  • Overall – Simply delicious, complex, lots of sherry yet still well-balanced

The Hazelburn is triple distilled, non-chill filtered with no caramel added.

Without a doubt, both my fellow Whisky Lady in Singapore and I put this in our ‘Would buy‘ category… Satisfying in every way and enough to make me regret passing up buying a 1st release Hazelburn 8 year from earlier in the week.

While most would already be aware, the Hazelburn distillery in Campletown was technically in operation only from 1825 and 1925, when it was bought by Springbank distilleries and shut down. Which means this whisky is produced in honour of Hazelburn rather than actually from the original distillery.

Springbank produces three distinct whiskies:
  • The Hazelburn’s you find today are part of their un-peated line
  • They use the Longrow brand for their peated line and
  • Their most popular Springbank standard can most readily found in their 10 year vintage

So far, I’ve overall enjoyed all three ranges from Springbank and look forward to seeing what will emerge with 18 years maturity – for many Scottish whiskies this seems to be their most interesting age.

What others say:

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