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So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Springbank 10 yo 100 prood (70s) vs Springbank 1998 Malts of Scotland #15038 vs Springbank 2004Malts of Scotland #15039 vs Springbank Green 13 yo

Springbank doesn’t seem to be a whisky that people fall in love with first. I understand why because it is not an easy whisky, peatheads are just born peaty, everyone likes sweet sherry, even plain malt has a healthy cereal and cream sort of grainy glow. But I find Springbank has a natural dirtiness that  comes out somewhere between musty and unwashed. It also might have petrochemical phenols that belong more in a rusty engine than a glass. Not the most pleasing to some, but if this is your thing, rest assured you are not alone. Far from it. Please take a ticket and join the hordes of Springbank collectors that make our lives very difficult whenever news gets out of a limited run issue, or a special old bottle surfaces anywhere.

Springbank 10 yo 100 proof ~70s bottling

Springbank 10 100 70s

Nose Nose: Sharp and rather closed, not the most expressive and maybe some water is warranted here. Still sharp in a citric way, yet thick with a solid viscosity. Lemon oil that’s just a little musty. The cleanest clearest wood varnish. Thin waxes and watery oils. The most astringent vegetable juice. But suddenly something changes and the nose is filled with overripe fruit, like really musty-ripe, and dry hay. Mustier, dirtier scents come to the fore, like dirty rags thick with grease and dusty cobweb-ed barrels on an earthen floor. Still, it’s not a powerful nose at all despite the strength.

Taste Palate: Lemon, sharp and citric, quite cutting. Salt, smoke, acidic green apples and unripe green fruit. Wow powerful. Give it time and then quite some soothing wax salves and balmy ointments too. Seemingly simple but there’s a lot of depth here. Then towards the finish, the dirtier notes dutifully appear, grease and dirty cloth with some mustiness.

Finish Finish: Long, sour, surprisingly lots of salt. salted lemons, salted apples. Some dirtiness again.

Score87

Genuinely good. Light years ahead of the pale label 10 yo 100 proof distilled in the 90s and sold in the mid 2000s. This is an example why a whisky distilled conscientiously in the 60s and bottled young could be sold as such and be regarded as good.

 

Springbank 1998/2015 Malts of Scotland #15038 49.2%

Springbank MOS 1998

Nose Nose: More accessible for sure, and more generous, best of all more of the same sort of nose. Touch more sweet woody vanilla that makes it more palatable, but otherwise we have citric lime leaf and sooty paraffin candles. Faint whiffs of dirty bung cloths and kerosene. Just a touch of salt and smoke. Nice <fairly> subtle balance.

Taste Palate: Ok, astringent green and sappy, some wood, some vanilla, wait..  quite some tannins, oh no, a little planky too. Chewing pencils, a lot of oily leather. A bit musty in a stinky way, an off note..

Finish Finish: More of the same, wood gone wrong.

Score70

Well, nose was nice enough..

 

Springbank 2004/2015 Malts of Scotland #15039 51.9%

Springbank MOS 2004

Nose Nose: The biggest and punchiest of the three, and honestly not that far from the Local Barley 2016. Thick sappy raw vegetable juice with a certain pungence, raw sour crunchy green mango and pickles smoothie. Salt salt salt. And let’s turn up the paraffin and engine oil to match. Maybe less phenolic than the Local Barley but not without a heavy dose of that dirty-dry earthy bung cloth, oh and some smoke. Excellent quality.

Taste Palate: Yes, thick petrol oily, briney, salty, smokey. capers? Green olives? A teaspoon of kerosene, a lungful of white smoke. Again dry earthy dirtiness. All present and boisterous. Just really good Springbank.

Finish Finish: Long pungent and really good.

Score95

Fantastic. That Springbank signature – I love this one.

 

Springbank Green 13  yo 46% ‘Organic’

Springbank Green 13

Nose Nose: A fresher, fruitier, dare I say it greener’ take on Springbank? Much more wood much more vanilla sweetness, though it has still got its dirty hues – and that sappy leafy edge. Though not the ‘widest’ profile. Was this vatted for the drinking pleasure of the greatest majority? Smart.

Taste Palate: No, it is Springbank through and through. Those sooty dirty paraffin and black oil notes are there though much sweentened and without the rawness. Also sweet creamy wood, and the sappy leafy juices. More of a kiwi and green grape sour fruitiness.

Finish Finish: Dirty tones and sweet wood, touches of soot and smoke again.

Score85

It’s not odd that 3 whiskies distilled within 6 years of each other should have the same basic signature.. Actually, I think it’s great. Different horses for different courses. New to Springbank? Please start here.

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This entry was posted on September 5, 2016 by in Spingbank and tagged .
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