Cask strength? Yes! Apparently, the 25yo age statement stated on the label was an ‘error’. It’s actually a 26yo [WB info], though I didn’t manage to ask the Sponge to confirm. Regardless, this is likely to be the highlight of the night.
N: Ooh, this is [of course] rather special. With a vegetal yet meaty [Mitchell-signature] pong, this is Old & Rare personified. Today, virtually nothing even barely affordable coming from the established guard comes close. I pick up on a slightly violet-y soaked potpourri quality, a floral aspect that hints at tOMoHs 1955 Bowmore [WLP96], alongside some fruity old man fustiness, a walnut/macadamia] nuttiness, and a squidgy tobacco leafy old skool sherry character that makes me want for more [Gonzalez Byass WLP] sherry, again. The glass needs covering/reviving all the time, so there’s clearly some frailty. Indeed, it’s hard to believe this hasn’t been bottle-aged too, so much so, I might need to rethink my perspective on OBE!
T: Rarely seen succulent dry husky clean sherry arrival with a little more of that homemade ‘Springbank signature’ funk. The high yet desirable sweetness is coupled with some [lighter style] miso and a [furniture wood] bitter spice as ballasts. Despite some fragility/softness overall, this one sits comfortably on the palate, small sip after small sip.
F: Still humming, now on more tobacco leaf, and more dry/oily succulent [slightly rubbery] sherry sweetness, the barley distillate still intact at the finish.
C: Who wouldn’t want a cask like this? Cracking find. I daren’t ask the price despite it being sold out in a flash anyway.