Thanks to /u/devoz for the dram
Springbank. When first hearing the name, it evokes different thoughts.
At first, you imagine a brunch place that has lots of fresh fruit and squabbling couples pretending to like one another due to a fear of being alone.
Then you imagine a beautiful if cold river, flowing through days when it’s suppose to be warm, dammit.
Finally you come to the distillery that, at least these days, defines Campbeltown malts. So much so, that Springbank owns (or has money in) all but one distillery in the former town of peat (as no one called it except me this one time).
So when I found out about a special release, and that /u/devoz [+37] was willing to trade me it, I was stoked. Springbank 10 is still a great value buy for me. And while I think I scored it too high, and have thus thrown off all of my Springbank scores since, I still get giddy at the thought of drams from the distillery.
Thus why I’m reviewing three in a row. Up first: Springbank 14 1999 Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength. I know what you’re thinking: “TeeHee, it says butt”. Let’s try to get past that and see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A in Ontario
Distilled: October 1999
Bottled: September 2014
Cask Type: Refill Sherry
No. of bottles: 234
Colour: 7.5Y 9/6
Nose: Cinnamon, cranberry, pear nectar, liquorice, vanilla, smoky honey BBQ sauce, red gummy
Where to start? This nose is bonkers complex. With a capital BONKERS. It has lots of spice, sweet, fruit, and tangy notes.
I guess you’d have a problem with it if you weren’t such a sweet nut like me. And the great thing about me (like Tiggers) is there’s only one, so as long as I am the only person who buys this, capitalism works!
Oh, wait… I’m not that rich. Okay, so it’s complex, yet mostly on the sweet/spicy side.
Taste: Honey, grass, red fruit, cumin, oak, lemon, sulphur
Less sweet, however still has an interesting mix. And less complex. This who thing screams peated sherry whisky, with the red fruit and spice mixing together in that BBQ kinda way.
The grassy notes really make it special. They are more pronounced than other whiskies that typically have them stay in the back like a bad child at a wedding.
Finish: Custard, smoke, fruit punch, peach, lemongrass, jalapeno
Sweet and heat is how this ends, and frankly, I like the finish better than the taste. It’s hot, but that goes with the smoke. And there’s this strong Custard note that’s really rich and tasty.
Conclusion: Overall I really do enjoy this whisky. If I was to go back, I’d probably move the 10 down to an 83, and this is doing slightly better things than it. I’ll say the 12 CS probably has it beat, but not by much.
This is a sweet dram. It finishes better than anything else. The nose is complex, yet in the sweets department only. Maybe in the spice aisle. Maybe.
The taste has some rough edges, and I think that’s the main weakness of the dram. Overall I liked it. And I wouldn’t be unhappy with a bottle. However I think Springbank has better sherry casks to offer.
Scotch review #445, Campbeltown review #21, Whisky Network review #717