More from Springbank today!
Of course we all love their whisky, mainly because it’s great, but also they’re doing everything themselves. 100% of the malting is done on site and everything is done traditionally. Prices are pretty reasonable too, which always helps.
The Springbank distillery has 3 brands, Springbank (Duh), Hazelburn and Longrow. All with different peating levels and all distilled differently too.
Hazelburn= Unpeated and Triple distilled
Springbank= Lightly peated and 2 ½ times distilled
Longrow= Heavily peated and double distilled
This makes for some pretty unique products and makes the distillery really adaptable. Anyway, today the focus is on Springbank. As with any other distillery with partial triple distillation, like Mortlach or Benrinnes before 2007, it’s a complicated procedure and I’ll be doing another discussion on that later.
Suffice to say that the whisky tends to be funky, traditional and amazing in Sherry casks.
Springbank 10 46%
Nose: Full, fruity and fresh. Heather smoke, juicy fruit, quite oily. Toasty, nutty, vanilla, toffee, salted caramel, baking spice, honey, malt, cereal, lemon, coffee. Lovely Sherry and soot tying it all together.
Taste: Soft arrival, spice, nutty oak, malty, toffee, orange, red apple. Very thick and oily. Sweet with juicy fruit and some sherry. Heather, smoke and peat. Soot and smoke into the finish.
Finish: Medium length. Silky with fruit, nutty, a little spicy oak and soot.
Classy. A wonderful balance. I’ve had it a couple of times now at various places and it’s always impressive, particularly the batch from late 2015/early 2016.
Springbank 21 46%
Nose: Quite bourbon-y, herbal and oaky. Sweet pine, dusty vanilla pod, fresh oak, oily, dunnage warehouse.
Water: Complex floral oak, marshmallow, heather, very little peat far away, smoke on a beach, sea salt.
Taste: Creamy, vanilla, fresh oak, crème brulee, going more herbal with heather, pine, creamy oak and dusty leather.
Water: Oily creamy loveliness. More malty, chocolate, floral, salt, more building salt and spice. More sherry coming out after a bit.
Finish: Long length. Sweet oak and vanilla going on and on.
2014 edition. I was really excited for this but it turned out a little too Bourbon led for my taste.
Springbank 2000 Private Cask 51%
Colour: Light Gold
Nose: A little peat but soft and very mellow. Vanilla and honey, quite grassy, malty character with cream, cereal and nuts.
Water: More oak influence, oak tannins, bit of fudge, salt, toffee, white grapes, champagne?, whisky? (3rd or 4th refill maybe)
Taste: Incredibly sweet and intense, great mouth feel. Layers of spice and honey with an underlying peat note. Malt, nut, toffee, cereal, sweet apple and pear.
Water: More soft and malty.
Finish: Medium length. Sweet malt, grass and oak.
2000-2014 single sherry cask bought privately by a member of the public.
Springbank 10 100 Proof (Bottled 2004ish) 57%
Nose: Austere and closed at first. Apple, clay, wet slate, sea salt, black pepper, old garden shed complete with rusty tools, reminds me of the 30yo OB Caol Ila in that, old rotting wood complete with damp moss.
Water: Strange and still quite closed. Wet paper, wet ash, some pastry?, earthy with black truffles, more smoke.
Taste: Soft arrival, fruity and then big mineral notes, smoke, lots of salt, lots of cracked blacked pepper, builds, engine oil, very oily, more pepper, lots of spice, clove, spicy Euro oak, reminds me a lot of a harsher 18yo Talisker. Quite tight.
Water: Softer, much more gentle, still spicy but more fruity now with red apple, some orange peel, black pepper. Very Talisker-esque.
Finish: Medium length. More smoke, oil and ash. Longer with water but with more unbalanced spice.
Found this dusty already open in my Dad’s garage! 15yo Talisker or 10yo Springbank? Think I prefer the new 10yo at 46%. This is a little too tight and austere, a bit like the 16yo Local Barley.
Thanks for reading!
Scotch Reviews #356-#359
Whisky Network Reviews #402-#405
Network Average: 74.5
Best Score: 92
Worst Score: 44
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
75-79 Very Good
Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.