IAAS Springbank 25yo...

IAAS Springbank 25yo (47.5%): Here is a sample I am way too late to blabber about... It is the first Springbank cask bottled exclusively for the Facebook group "It's all about Springbank" a.k.a. IAAS and it has an odd cask with a story: After the whisky spent its first 16 years in Campbeltown in an ex-bourbon barrel it got moved to Islay to be transferred to an ex-Chateau Petrus barrique for an extra 9 years. Yes, the famous non-classified estate "Chateau Petrus" from Pomerol appellation in Bordeaux... I am not sure if the whisky was intended to be left in that barrique so long from the beginning or if a deal about a finishing project went down and the whisky ended up waiting there for its new future owner but it is a double matured whisky now for sure instead of a finished one. The whisky is distilled in 1993 and bottled in 2018 by Whiskybroker exclusively for IAAS yielding only 183 bottles.

Color: Medium amber with a very distinctive red hue. Not so thick but very oily and slow legs around the glass.

Nose: Dark cherry soda... Almost effervescent and chalky. Strawberry jam, Concord grape juice and overripe damson plums. After all the dark berry and cherry aromas are squared away here comes the Campbeltown in its dirtiest state possible: Wet floor slates, sea salt, engine oil and old dock covered with moss and mussels Fuel soaked rags, burnt lemon rinds and diesel engine exhaust. Dirty, greasy and coastal... Water improves the whisky actually quite a bit despite of its low abv and elevates the red fruit aromas: Red gummi bears, cranberry sauce and red currants.

Palate: Wow... It is an odd one indeed. WD-40, synthetic grease and licking 9V batteries. Plastic bags, sheep barn and old and rusty hip flasks. It's a shame that all the red and purple fruit notes from the nose are totally missing on the palate.  Let's see if a few drops of water will help. And they do a little: Raspberry gose beer and strawberry juice. Sea water and tonic water.

Finish: Long with both farmhouse and boatyard references. It's mossy and metallic before adding water but it sure gets more fruity and sparkling after.

Overall: First of all for my two cents I can bet that the majority of folks who didn't like this whisky didn't add water to it at some point... Even a few drops helped me a lot. They really suppressed the metallic and lubricant notes which bothered me the most and elevated the red fruit notes. I definitely enjoyed the rollercoaster ride I took with my wee sample but in the end the whisky didn't really click with me... Thanks to IAAS taking the risk and starting to bottle casks for the group and working hard to continue to do so. I am so looking forward now to put my hands on a sample from the second release. And of course huge thanks to my good friend Bert Claerhouts for saving me this sample from his own bottle and bringing it all the way to Campbeltown Malts Festival.

Price: £300