A while back I was shopping at Wally’s in Westwood, and saw an odd bottle out of the corner of my eye – a bottle labeled as a Springbank that looked like no Springbank I’d seen recently. I actually thought it was a new Kilkerran bottling at first.
Nope, this bottle is an old Springbank – the label is the same as many other bottlings for owners of private casks. Where this one differs, however, is in the utter lack of information provided. Normally, these have some sort of name on them – the cask owner, a firm who bought a cask, or some other unique identifier. There’s also some indication of the distillation and bottling date, and perhaps a cask number.
In this case, the label leaves everything to the imagination. “Cask Owner’s Private Bottling.” No indication of who Cask Owner might be, how old their whisky is, or any sort of cask provenance. Beyond knowing it’s a Springbank, this is basically a blind malt.
Even the back label didn’t have much – a generic government warning and a Preiss Imports label. Neither Preiss, nor Wally’s, nor Springbank themselves had much to say about this bottle.
I’ve pretty much figured I’ll never know more about this than it was a fairly lucky find, but if you happen to know anything about the provenance of this bottle – who the owner might have been, how old the whisky is, etc, I’d love to hear it. If you’re the owner, well, I’d love to hear more.
But this one remains a mystery. The moral of the tale? Keep your eyes open because you never know what you’ll see.
At a glance:
Springbank Cask Owner’s Private Bottling 50% ABV (NAS)
Nose: An interesting mix of fruitiness and light peat initially. Some maltiness, a little white pepper and slight mustiness. A little canned pear, some light tarriness, and some vanilla.
Palate: Thick mouthfeel, faintly musty; earthy, with a little bit of peat. Nice heat; malty; some white pepper. A little faint hint of vanilla.
Finish: Warm initially, receding, leaving malt and plenty of pepper with a bit of vanilla. Light hints of waxy apples.
Comment: Seems like a bourbon cask that’s youngish, but there’s not a lot to go on. Enjoyable enough and a fun oddity.