Springbank Society 5yo (2023 Release)


Two release from Springbank today including the new society release.

Springbank Society 5yo (2023 Release)

Region: Campbeltown

ABV: 57.1%

Price: £50.00

The latest society release is a 5 year old that was matured in fresh bourbon casks. 2,166 bottles were produced exclusively for society members.

Nose

We’re finding the nose slightly restrained, but we can pick out hints of wood varnish, fudge, creamy vanilla, and light wisps of peat smoke. Giving it time in the glass and the Campeltown salinity appears, along with it, there’s a little spice which we’re finding mellow and inviting. There’s also lemon balm, petrol, oil slick, and a musty warehouse note.

Palate

This has a reasonable mouthfeel, with lots of spice upfront. We’re getting dry oak, really dry oak, burnt leaves, pencil shavings, burnt creme brûlée, and some young spirit character. There are dried citrus fruit slices on a good length finish, along with a spice that mellows after time, leaving a lingering flint flavour and earthy peat. Going back, we notice salted caramel and Campbeltown funk.

Nose (with water)

Reduction opens this up bringing out sand, sea breeze, oysters, caramac bars, a carpenter's dusty workshop, and olive brine. There’s a little less peat smoke now, but we think the nose has really benefited from a few drops of water.

Palate (with water)

Water has brought out a strong fudge note, and like the nose, we’re finding this much better with water. It’s sweeter, with more spice, more citrus, and has a thicker texture. We’re also now getting custard cream biscuits and more saline.

Conclusion

It’s interesting to be able to try a young Springbank, but for us, this hasn’t reached its peak yet. Don’t get us wrong, it’s good for what it is, but we can’t help but feel a few more years in wood would have turned this into something more comparable to the last 12yo cask strength bourbon release. Still, with water, this is a 7.5/10 for us.

Score: 7.5/10

Not one that many of you will get to try, but for any one lucky to have a bottle of this here’s a bonus review…


Springbank “Cage Bottle” (9yo 1st fill bourbon barrel rotation 49)

Region: Campbeltown

ABV: 60.9%

Price: £60.00

As it says above this is a 9 year old that was matured in a 1st fill bourbon barrel, and sold exclusively at the distillery.

Nose

Creamy vanilla, custard apples, and caramel sauce. It’s nice and sweet on the nose and we’re also getting notes of fudge cake, rock salt, vanilla pods, and shortbread. As it sits in the glass we start to notice some wet earth and light peat. Good quality bourbon cask.

Palate

The palate has a good texture. There’s custard, warm oak, caramac, pastry cream, profiteroles, white pepper, and double cream. going back to it after air reveals white chocolate, speculos, and almond biscotti. It’s got a long warm finish with a hint of dirt and earthiness lingering along with some salty toffee.

Nose (with water)

Now we’re getting some salt and vinegar crisps, and picked onion mixed in with bourbon cask sweetness. Dominant notes of caramel, toffee, and Campbeltown funk. It’s a little less sweet now, more acidic, but we still enjoy it.

Palate (with water)

Dilution has diminished the mouthfeel slightly. As for the palate it’s overall mostly unchanged. We do notice a little bit more spice, and dustiness has appeared, but that’s about it. Not bad but definitely better without water.

Conclusion

It's interesting to try this straight after the 5yo above as this demonstrates our point, if you’d left the 5yo in the cask for a few more years, you’d get this. It’s classic Springbank, a lovely dram, and an absolute bargain. Seriously if you’ve never been go to Campeltown it’s worth the trip for whisky like this.

Score: 8.5/10

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  • 10 - Perfection. A whisky that we’ll remember forever.
  • 9 - Amazing. We’d pay through the nose for a bottle.
  • 8 - Great. Pick this up at RRP.
  • 7 - Good. Happy to have a dram or two but wouldn’t buy a bottle.
  • 6 - Passable. Would accept a dram, but wouldn’t seek it out.
  • 5 - Poor. Would drink if it was the only option.
  • 4 - Bad. Maybe it can be saved by ginger beer?
  • 3 - Awful. It can't be saved by ginger beer.
  • 2 - Pour it out
  • 1 - We’ve never tried a whisky rated this low and hopefully never will.

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