Springbank, Rundlets & Kilderkins

Springbank Rundlets & Kilderkins

Springbank is one of my favourite distilleries, and, as I have noted before, they put out a lot of iterations of their malt. This particular bottling’s unusual name refers not to underwear worn by dwarves in Middle Earth but to particularly small casks in which the malt is placed for a brief second maturation after longer maturation in, I believe, ex-bourbon casks in which this malt is matured for 10 years. It’s a very successful experiment, I think, though I am less sure about the blinged out bottle (see below for full blinding effect). I hope they will be making this whisky a regular offering.

This was distilled in November 2001 and bottled in January 2012.

Springbank, “Rundlets & Kilderkins” (49.4%, 10yo; from my own bottle)

springbankrandkblingNose: Briny, gunpowdery–very close to the Longrow 14 in some ways. Whiffs of peat and a slight butyric note. With time, touches of milk chocolate, pine and the classic Springbank note that I characterize as leatheriness. The butyric note disappears quite quickly. And after a while the brine and gunpowder are gone too, leaving the chocolaty/malty notes to dominate. Hints of creme brulee too now. Oh wait, the brine’s back now and it’s saltier than before: briny chocolate? chocolate with sea-salt?

Palate: Sweet, malty, earthy. Some farmy peat, touches of smoke/gunpowder, and more of that musty leather. Just how do they get their malt to taste like this? A little bit of chicory too. Not as much happening on the palate as on the nose, but what there is is very good. Hugely drinkable without water.

Finish: Sweetness leading to brine. The piney/menthol notes from the nose appear on the finish, and there’s just a touch of woodspice too.

Comments: More young whisky should taste this good–though, I guess, with the rush to NAS whisky in the industry, a 10 yo is now positively middle-aged. The nose sees the most development. I did not add water tonight, and it is possible that water unlocks more on the palate (I can’t remember if I added water or what it did the last few times I tried this–what can I say, I have two small children). The smaller barrels seem to have, predictably, imparted greater sweetness than is usual with Springbank, but that they have not imparted any overly woody or tannic notes is testimony to the great skill of the blenders at Springbank.

Rating: 88 points.

7 thoughts on “Springbank, Rundlets & Kilderkins

  1. Okay, I should really have checked before posting: I’d assumed this was only partly matured in the smaller casks as I thought 10 years in such small casks (60/80 litres to the ~200/250/500 of bourbon barrels/hogsheads/sherry butts) would make for an overly woody whisky, which this certainly is not. The fact that the label doesn’t mention double maturation should have tipped me off, as usually Springbank are good with the details. Looking around the web though it does appear that this was a full-term maturation in rundlets and kilderkins.

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  2. I finished this bottle tonight, two and a half years after opening it. Excellent from start to finish. I wish Springbank had continued to make this (it was so reasonably priced at release.) As I noted on Twitter last night, this is what I sometimes think whisky is supposed to taste like.

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    • This must have sold out quick. Never saw a bottle. How much was it? I hear the Longrow version is not as good which I am thankful for because that whisky is incredibly expensive.

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  3. Aaron M, I highly do NOT recommend the Longrow R&K. Not good.

    And I too never saw the Springbank R&K. Only the rave reviews. I bet MAO ordered his from overseas. ?

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    • This news about the Longrow R&K saddens me as I have a closed bottle sitting on my shelves (well, currently in a box, awaiting a household move). I liked the Springbank R&K so much (and yes, I got it overseas) that the Longrow R&K was a no-brainer. What’s wrong with it?

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      • Of course, people’s experiences will vary…

        There were some great Longrow notes, but they were mostly blocked by (what I perceived as) young, charred-oak bourbon-y notes. So lots of bitter wood in the way. And quite hot. And an off-putting sweetness. And quite a bit of black pepper which I don’t care for in excess. Simply put, I wish I had bought 2 Peated instead. Or a Springbank 15!

        (I actually saved MAO a sample at first opening but since it was a B- malt at best and didn’t improve IMO I gave it to a friend newly into malts).

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