Thanks to /u/devoz for this dram.
And now to finish up this mini series of Springbank whiskies.
Hype is an odd thing. I like to believe I don’t play into it too much, however then a new Marvel movie or Pathfinder book comes out, and I’m hooked.
Whisky is a mix bag. I’ve been able to avoid the hype surrounding most BTAC. After trying a few Pappys and not immediately ascending to Nirvana, I’m able to skip it.
And I only bought two Four Roses 125th, and have yet to need to buy a Compass Box special edition.
That said, Springbank 17 Sherry Wood was not an easy skip. At all. Part of it is because my wife has requested I finish up samples. Part of it is I live in Toronto and in a small, small place.
Another part was due to cash not being around and the local LCBO deciding anything Cask Strength is “of the Devil” or something.
But enough about me, you came for the whisky. It’s 100% matured in Sherry oak. No finish on this one.
So, let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A in Ontario
Colour: 5Y 7/8
Nose: Smoked ribs, pear, strawberry, anise, nutmeg, varnish, white pepper, caramel, lemongrass, mango
Again, it’s a cask strength Springbank that has been in Sherry Casks. What’s not to love? It’s brash, has the smell of a cook house, and is spicy and fruity.
Now there is a slight varnish note, which is weird as I typically get that from bourbon, and this has no bourbon to do with it at all.
Taste: Floral, mango, mushroom, smoke, peach, oregano
Okay, so this is odd. If I was drinking this blind, I’d say it was a Lowland. Sure, eventually there’s some smoke and what not, however… there is a big floral note right at the start.
I’m quite blown away by it. Sure, the typical fruit and smoke is there, however the floral aspect is new. Luckily I like Lowlands, so not an issue.
Also this isn’t super sherry bomb or peat bomb on the taste. It’s more delicate. Again, odd.
Finish: Black pepper, rosemary, cocoa, dried blueberry, peanut, smoke, caramel
The smoke on the finish was evident here, and the peat lent it’s way with some earth. That said, again, this isn’t a big bruiser of a dram. It takes time to open up.
Conclusion: Subtle. Not smooth. You can fuck off with that Smooth descriptor. This is subtle.
It has the flavours, it has the big acidic and smoke parts, it’s just hard to find. I’m kicking myself for not buying one, however I’m also happy with things I bought instead (including Samurai Pizza Cats on DVD).
I guess what I’m saying is this: This was an interesting dram. I wanted a little more on the flavour, but that’s nit picking. It needs time to be sipped and appreciated in full. Buy a bottle and enjoy it with people. Or by yourself, I’m not your mother.
Scotch review #447, Campbeltown review #23, Whisky Network review #719