Tasting: Springbank 22 yo 1996 by Claxton’s

When I saw that Serge over at Whiskyfun HQ published a review of this whisky today, I remembered I still had half a sample from a tweet tasting in late 2018 sitting around waiting to be reviewed. So I didn’t read his notes beforehand in order not to influence myself too much and now it’s time to stick my nose in – taking my time to properly review this outside of the rush and typing frenzy that usually accompany tweet tastings. Men can’t multitask, ya know 😉

Tasting: Springbank 22 yo 1996 by Claxton's

Dram data:
Distillery: Springbank
Bottler: Claxton’s
Distilled: 10.05.1996
Bottled: 04.09.2018
Age: 22
Limitation: 249 bottles
Cask: Bourbon Hogshead
Alcohol: 55%
uncoloured / not chill filtered
Whiskybase link


Ah, multi-layered complexity from a well-behaved ex-bourbon hogshead! Quite a bit dusty and oily, like an old workshop that’s heated by a damp peat fire that fills the atmosphere with a mild smokiness. A healthy workshop at that – we’ve also got red apples and sweet nectarines! The nose is rounded off by a slightly briny, salty, chalky layer that’s a bit hard to miss. Improves a lot through some oxidation – this has improved quite a bit from how I originally remember it!
Score: 89/100

Not too nippy for 55% ABV on the arrival – and almost austere, in a good way! The chalky note is back, paired with old nectarines, barley water (the 3rd mash water), a slice of orange, with (good!) warehouse funkiness and a slightly peat-smoked, old-fruit sweetness in the background. One to keep in the mouth for a long time – almost intellectual!
Score: 88/100

Ever so slightly nippy upon swallowing before getting rather dry with brine, chalky barley water (2nd runnings from the mash tun now), some warehouse funk and apple peel. Lingers for a long time with a hint of peat smoke appearing towards the end.
Score: 87/100

Can I call this an intellectual dram? It’s my site so I guess I can call it anything I want, so there you go, intellectual it is! Truly different in a world where difference is mostly created by the marketing departments in London or equally far away from the place of production. Not a beginner’s dram nor an easy sipper but very rewarding for dissecting and exploring. Right, I guess I can go peek now what Serge has written about it. Right, he was even more enthusiastic – and his comments on it are well worth reading, so make sure to check them out as well! I see this is still available in Austria and elsewhere for almost 400€. Oooft, that’s a lot of money even for a whisky of this calibre but such are the times… I’m glad I was able to taste a sample…
Overall Score: 88/100

Check out the archive of all Springbank whiskies I’ve tasted so far!

Sample provided free of charge by Claxton’s for a tweet tasting

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