Springbank are highly regarded amongst whisky fans/critics. The reason for this is because they keep every aspect of their production process in house. Springbank is considered to be one of only a few single malts on the market that resemble what old school whisky use to be like. I have reviewed the 10 year old version and from what I can remember it was astringent and had a different profile to most single malts I had tried up to that point. Maybe Glen Scotia being the closest in terms of flavour profile. I like this sort of flavour profile, kind of a earthy/coastal feel with smoke and rich fruit. I expect the 15 and 18 to be like this with but with more complexity.
Whisky: Springbank 15 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 46%
Nose: Smoke, resin, malt, cereal, porridge, dried fruits, berries, metallic
Taste: Berries, red apple, citrus, cinnamon, walnuts, ginger, smoke, dark chocolate
Finish: Dry, dark chocolate, porridge, ginger, red fruits
Summary: This is very complex and rich stuff. It has a grown up feel to it too. There is a funkiness to it like that I get from the Glenfarclas 12. The malt/cereal signs of quality are there. The balance between the resin, porridge, dried fruit and smoke is spot on and they work so well together. As this develops you get more of the same. Just lots of flavours dipping in and out after every sip, it keeps you guessing a bit. Very difficult to summarise this one but I can see the resemblance to Glen Scotia and I do like it a lot. The flavours are bold so approach carefully and worth using water and giving it time. At about £65 I think this is priced at a decent level given the quality and uniqueness.
Whisky: Springbank 18 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 46%
Nose: Alcohol, cereal, sherry, orange, heather, mint, roasted nuts, light smoke
Taste: Roasted nuts, dry spice, leather, honey, caramel, heather, salt, pepper
Finish: Chilli, pepper, coffee, salt, earth, smoke
Summary: The 18 is much softer and approachable than the 15 after I got over the initial kick of alcohol. The peat influence is equally matched by the sherry influence and the two mingle together really well. This is just as complex as the 15 year old, so many flavours throughout the development which makes it hard for me to describe my journey as I tasted it. This is a full on attack of flavours on the taste buds with flavours dropping in and out as you go along. This is over £110 and which is almost double the price of the 15 and above my comfort zone in terms of what I would pay for a bottle of whisky. It is a wonderful whisky and I would have scored it higher than 4 but due to the price I can not.
Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,
1 – not to my preference
2 – tastes fine but does not excite me
3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally
4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf
5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf
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