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Saturday 25 February 2012

You Put A Spell On Me: Springbank - Rundlets & Kilderkins whisky

One of the great things about living in London is the shopping. There are so many small boutiques to uncover, from Portabello Road to Brick Lane, I often find myself wandering parts of town previously undiscovered by me and stumbling upon beautiful little shops selling niche items to a customer-base smaller than the queue for package holidays in Afghanistan.

One such shop which I came across in East London last week, is the brilliantly named ‘The Duke of Uke’. The Uke, as it is known to its hardcore customer base, sells all and anything to do with... ukeles. Brilliant.

If I had a fistful of wishes to make come true, one would be for the mythical street of Diagon Alley from the Harry Potter books to come to life. Hidden behind The Leaky Cauldron pub on the Charing Cross Road, Diagon Alley is home to all sorts of emporiums, restaurants and bazaars; an area of London where you can purchase anything from giant spiders to shrunken heads.

Akin to the real word Saville Row which boast outfitters with names such as Gieves & Hawkes, Diagon Alley is home to establishments like wizarding joke shop Gambol & Japes, Borgin & Burkes (which sells the interestingly named ‘Hand of Glory’) and bookshop Flourish & Blott’s.

Named Rundlets & Kilderkins, the new release from Springbank distillery feels like it should have a place on this very street. Yet this odd title is designed to tell you all you need to know about the hooch inside the bottle. For this edition of Springbank, distilled in November 2001 and bottled in January 2012, the whisky has been matured for the full term in small 60 and 80 litre casks. Magic!

As a result, just 9,000 of these bottle have been made available and come in the classic Springbank bottle but with a twist: the front label is a metal, copper-esque embossed shield.

Springbank - Rundlets & Kilderkins – 10 Years Old – 9000 bottles – 49.4% abv - £57ish

Nose: A hot start which develops in to Custard Cream biscuits followed by green grass, milk chocolate and toffee. The classic Springbank foundations of light brine, salt and some smoke are there.

Palate: Buttery and oily, the rich mouthfeel carries the falvours around the palate with ease. A slight hint of burnt sugar leads to soft red apples (toffee apples?) all underpinned with some light smoke and salt.

Finish: red jam tarts and digestive biscuits.

Overall: I tried this in the whisky exchange shop and immediately bought a bottle. Springbank is a distillery I don’t buy or drink enough of but this release, at this price is a real winner. Well worth a punt. It’ll cast a spell on you, for sure.

One hopes that Springbank continue with projects like this, as it has really paid off. Maybe their next experiment should be casks made from old broom sticks...