Springbank, 1995, 23y, cask 63, 48%


It’s not been two weeks since I did the previous review of a WhiskyNerds bottling. That Lagavulin 21 was amazing, and hot on the heels of that one comes a fresh sherry matured, 23 year old Springbank.

Their Lagavulin scoreed 93 points here, and the Springbank they did at the tail end of last year got 92 points. By now these guys have such a reputation that their last two bottlings sold out before they were in the shops.

With a € 1300+ Euro Lagavulin that’s not a bad thing, but this Springbank I would have loved to put on my shelf, even if it was only a seventh of a bottle through a bottle share.

Very old fashioned style sherry. If I didn’t know any better I’d say this could be that slightly sooty style of 1960s Strathisla that’s so amazing. Funky with a whiff of overripe mango, pine needles and resin, and a hint of Maggi liquid seasoning. Some oily concrete, like the flooring in a car workshop, with berries. Strange as it is.

A lot more gentle than you’d expect from the intensity of the nose. Old polished furniture, wet soil, dunnage warehouses. Dry sherry, mint and pine, and menthol cigarettes. Some peppery heat, with Maggi again. Sesam seed oil, strawberries, maybe a touch of balsamic vinegar. Sour cherries, sandalwood, dark chocolate.

A silky smooth finish with dark chocolate, Maggi and resin. A slight crisp note of menthol with the ashy addition of cigarrette ash. Drying with oak, dunnage-warehouse-soil, and engine oil. Sandalwood and sour cherries.

This is yet another A. MA. ZING whisky. I am absolutely in love with this. It does everything right and it goes full on the complex sherry and the dirty notes that Springbank is so loved for.

I wouldn’t say this is a typical Springbank, although the style of ‘dirtiness’ is typical, but overall this reminds me more of 1960 Strathisla and some older Karuizawas. Stunning whisky, and a shame it’s gone.

Even though € 350 for a bottle of whisky is an insane amount, I can imagine this being worth it.



Nose: Very mature and rich, a somewhat dry sherry style. Cherry syrup, raisins, juicy plums and dark notes of tobacco leaves. A hint of mocha and chocolate pralines, with a whisper of menthol, soy and wood smoke. Brilliant, in the vein of those old sherried Speysiders that G&M bottles every so often.
Taste: Furniture polish, leather and hints of menthol. This is just… incredibly awesome. Hints of espresso and cappuccino, with the tiniest whisper of peat, and lovely earthy dunnage flavours. A hint of cocoa powder also.
Finish: Lingering menthol, peat, sherry. A touch of soy. Very long.

Score: 94/100

Even though this is 23 years old already, I’d describe it as a very mature whisky. Very classy and classic, yet to me not immediately recognizable as Springbank. Incredible stuff that harkens back to the 1960s. A flavour profile you don’t often encounter anymore. Yes, I like it even better than last year’s release. My whisky of the year so far.


Lagavulin, 1997, 21y, cask 0001, 56.6%, Select Cask for European Lagavulin fans: Boris Borrisov, Floris Kooistra, Bram van Glabbeek, Sebastian Jaeger, Ronny Wettervik & Rolf-Harald Haugen


Nose: a very refined, balanced nose. Gentle peat smoke, seashells, walnuts, a little tobacco. Not much sherry influence, but the European oak brings spices although I also get some natural vanilla. Subtle iodine, dried kelp and tar. Carbolineum. A hint of pine resin, maybe dried apple. Just a nice touch of fresh orange juice as well. Yeah well, rather perfect. Mouth: now there’s a sweet tobacco side, some toffee and Demerara sugar (sherry after all) before it gets back to camphor, walnuts, hints of coffee and coastal notes. Didn’t expect such sweetness from the nose. Liquorice. Some leafy notes. Sweet menthol (cough syrup). A bit of orange liqueur now. All great descriptors: this is classic stuff. Finish: long, on smoked fish, black peppercorns, marmalade and hints of sweet oak.

Excellent Lagavulin, with a very wide array of flavours, great depth and a flawless balance. Pretty immense.

Score: 93/100



I feel there are probably more than 158 Lagavulin fans in Europe. And so long as Britain remains a member of the EU I count myself as one of them. One of an increasing number of private casks that Diageo are doing these days – unsurprisingly they chose European oak for this release. Colour: deep gold. Nose: soft embrocations, drifting bonfire smoke, coal dust, dried kelp, mechanical oils and toasted black peppercorns. The peat feels slightly restrained, as if it’s caught on the verge of morphing into all these other tertiary aspects such as tar, mead, old rope and antiseptic. Evolves rather beautifully towards a kind of earthy/medical/smoky profile over time. Slightly reminiscent of some older White Horse 12 year olds at points. With water: drifts more towards boot polish, hickory smoke, struck flints and some smoke-cured meats. Mouth: very peppery, sooty and displaying a kind of fruity chilli heat. Smoked paprika, iodine, germoline and wood ash. There’s a BBQ sauce aspect as well. I like it but there’s also a rawness to it as well which I wasn’t expecting. Hints of burnt caramel, artichoke, olive oil and grilling sardines. With water: ahh, much sweeter and oilier now with water. Lemon cough medicine, more natural tar notes, oily peats and some herbal extracts that lean towards liqueurish. Hessian and various medical tinctures. Finish: long, leafy, smoky, earthy and full of salty notes such as miso, soy sauce and anchovy paste. Some oily lemony notes as well. Comments: At times it’s a little tough, but if you work with it and give it the benefit of time and a little water it really does reward. What can I say? Another very excellent Lagavulin. Damn those lucky Europeans! Just you wait till we are eating re-hydrated mashed potatoes and Boris Johnson is in charge, then we’ll show you…!
SGP: 466 – 91 points


Springbank, 1996, 21y, cask 471, 58.1% 

Putting your nose in this glass of Springbank single cask selected for bottling by the WhiskyNerds, places you in a Campbeltown fairy tale. It is a nice day in Spring as you wander along the Low Askomill Walk overlooking the Loch. From the left the aroma of flowers engulf you like a blanket, while on the right the seaspray wets the peddles, creating the familiar chalky smell that is a signature of every well-aged Springbank. This one goes the extra mile. Like a bridge between days long past and a future still ahead. The taste is reminiscent of wood, smoke, a Cuban cigar, and a liquorice bitter sweetness. Close your eyes and you time travel back to the days Campbeltown was the whisky capital of the world. The sharpness on the finish makes this a whisky for men, for women, not boys, not girls. Savour it carefully, it might finish you, instead of the other way around!








The Trias Usquebaugh

The WhiskyNerds have (modestly) concluded that whisky delight benefits most from one of the three points of The Trias Usquebaugh. The majority of excellent whisky is matured in either seasoned sherry casks or flavourful bourbon casks. The combination of the two in a balanced vatting can make dreams come true. For your pleasure and education, The Trias Usquebaugh bottlings of Inchmurrin single malt whisky, 3 in total, will take you on a journey of checks and balances. We gladly let you discuss and decide what delights you most.


Inchmurrin 2003, 14y, cask 171, 54.6% ‘Executive’
The WhiskyNerds bottled two single cask Inchmurrin single malt whiskies: a sherry matured expression Law and a bourbon matured Order. To complete the Trias Usquebaugh triangle we need an Executive. We married the remainders of the two 1993 vintage casks together. This resulted in a beautiful vatting with presidential allure. The Executive loves the spotlights. Always the most unequivocal of the three, the Executive combines the resolve of the Law and the compromising basis of the Order, to rise above but never trump the others.
















Inchmurrin 2003, 14y, cask 168, 53.3% ‘Order’

A first-fill bourbon matured Inchmurrin distilled in 2003 and bottled in 2017 at the Loch Lomond Distillery. According to the WhiskyNerds a bourbon matured whisky provides the Order in the Trias balance. The spirit is kept in check by the wood, but never falls in its shadow. Therefor it is justified to proclaim that the whisky shines as a proud cornerstone. This 14 Years Old provides the classic full body and sweetness that comes from a bourbon cask. The perfect basis for a vatting but also enjoyable on its own.















Inchmurrin 2003, 14y, cask 169, 56,3% ‘Law’

A refill sherry butt matured Inchmurrin distilled in 2003 and bottled in 2017 at the Loch Lomond Distillery. According to the WhiskyNerds a sherry matured whisky provides the Law in the Trias balance. It brings complexity, it is resolute and outspoken, quickly popular with lots of enthusiasts. It will dictate the course of the debate with a lasting impression on your taste buds. This 14 Years Old provides a mature taste beyond what is expected from a whisky in its teens. The perfect complement for a vatting but also enjoyable on its own.














Invergordon 1972

Invergordon 1972, 43y, cask 13-05, 49,8%
It is hard to imagine that the seemingly cold and industrious column still of the Invergordon Distillery produced this fine single cask whisky, put into glass by the WhiskyNerds. The nose doesn’t even try to hide its luscious aroma, which takes you right to the coast of the Cromarty Firth during Spring. Flowers bloom in abundant sunlight. Only in the distance and hidden under nature’s beautiful layers can one notice a hint of industrial whisky making. A sweet oily scent makes you want to sniff this forever. But a sip of this dram is just as rewarding: the age reveals a ton of ripe fruit infused with chocolate and delicate wood influences. Upon returning to the nose, the Invergordon grain now shows a much more fruity character. This whisky keeps on talking, keeps on stalking, long after the spicy finish has perished and seduces you to take another sip. A more-ish whisky if there ever was one.










Kavalan frontKavalan Peaty Cask R06110610, 53,2%

The Whiskynerds like to share the amazing casks of whisky they find, and the process starts far before bottling. In the company of trusted friends they pitted this fine Kavalan against some legendary single malts from the seventies, whith the Taiwanese giant surprisingly coming out on top. Now it is your turn to be amazed. Let this Kavalan selected by the Whiskynerds take you back to yesterday, while at the same time making the journey to New Horizons













GlendronachGlenDronach 19 Years Old, vintage 1995, single Oloroso Sherry cask 2380, 55,1 %

The Whisky Nerds decided to debut with a sherry matured single malt whisky from the GlenDronach Distillery. They focused on a selecting an “honest sherry cask”, in stark contrast to the more modern era sherry bottlings that can be found today. The Whisky Nerds succeeded admirably. Cask 2380 offers a mouthwatering mixture of sweet baked figs and wild red berries that mingle with muscat grapes and gentle spiciness. On the palate the sensations of powerful nuttiness and dried dates and cherry make for quite the experience with this unusually vibrant single malt, considering its age.

Cask 2380 was shared with Whisky-e Japan to be enjoyed in the Netherlands, Japan, and indeed, all over the world!