Springbank 10, 2021 Release

Let’s start the month with the closest thing there is to a sure thing in the world of Scotch whisky: a malt from the Springbank distillery. It’ll also kick off a week of reviews of official distillery releases.

This is the 2021 release of Springbank’s 10 yo, which is still their entry-level malt. The price has gone up quite a lot in just the last couple of years. I purchased two bottles in 2019 for $55 each; now the cheapest price I can see in the US appears to be about $85. Which is still a bargain compared to the prices asked for the now annual Local Barley releases, which have been of the same general age. I’ve liked all of those a lot and am curious to see how the regular 10 yo compares. The last of these that I reviewed was from the 2017 release (that was all the way back in 2018). I thought that was very good indeed and if this is as good I will be pleased. Let’s see.

Springbank 10, 2021 Release (46%; from a bottle split)

Nose: Classic Springbank mix of damp earth, prickly peat, paper, brine, cracked pepper and coriander seed. A bit of savoury gunpowder in there too. The citrus from the palate pops out here with time and it’s joined by some pastry crust and some cigarette ash. Water accentuates the paper and the pepper.

Palate: Comes in as predicted by the nose with some additional sweetness. Lovely texture and perfect drinking strength. On the second sip there’s citrus (lemon and dried orange peel) and a bit of apricot. Not much change with time but why would you want it to change? Okay, let’s add a drop or two of water. More pepper here too with water and a bit more of the prickly peat but otherwise much the same.

Finish: Long. The peat picks up here with some bitter char emerging to take the lead. The citrus pops out again at the end. More pepper here as well with water and the citrus at the end turns sweeter.

Comments: Just great. Who needs the Local Barley frenzy when this is available? Or is it available? Winesearcher doesn’t show any availability in Minnesota.

Rating: 90 points.



8 thoughts on “Springbank 10, 2021 Release

  1. Finding even this 10yr Springbank has become an endeavor. The cheapest I’ve seen here in NJ is $110. 2x over what it was just over an year ago.


  2. Any idea of which 2021 batch this is? There were definitely two released in the US: 17.3.21 and 17.08.21 (and yes, I did just verify the codes and one has a zero and one doesn’t)
    Springbank 12 CS was for sale a few weeks ago for $200 near me, also in NJ. And yet, it vanished almost immediately, though I resisted. So I went and bought some Glen Scotia Victoriana as a consolation before that becomes impossibly expensive.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t have enough experience myself, but people who seem to know better than me say there is a lot of batch variation in Springbank. The reason I was curious is that I have the 17.3.21 open. It is very good but not exceptional. But the 17.08.21 has gotten some absolute raves from reviewers I trust (whiskyrover, causeway coast). I guess I will just have to open it and compare.

        BTW, thanks for reviewing some official bottlings! Enjoyed the recent beef curry recipe too, in case you are wondering if there is any overlap between the eaters and the drinkers.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I just realized that at the time of the split I’d received a picture of the bottle code. It is indeed the 17.3.21 batch.

          The good news is that I have now acquired a couple of bottles of the 17.08.21 batch (happily, without paying a king’s ransom). If that is in fact even better I will be very happy indeed. I’ll probably review it in June.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Thanks for checking on that. Look forward to your review of 17.08.21 (and opening my bottle). I did open a bottle of 25.06.21 Kilkerran 12 in the meantime which is pretty damn good.

            In the ongoing saga of buying Springbank, I had a couple near misses trying to buy 12 CS at a couple local shops in NJ recently where I had bought it in the past. Both had sold out just hours before (and within twenty-four hours of getting the stock). I did finally find a bottle on the website of a store that I often buy IBs from. The price was just a bit more than the MSRP of $125. Then, an hour after I ordered, the price was $300. But they did process my order and I have it in hand. Just a year ago, I remember seeing bottles and hesitating, then being able to go back and buy them a week to a month later.

            Liked by 1 person

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