Nose is musky tobacco. Orange zest, wooden draws, carob and some vanilla bean. It does have that Springbank funk. Brioche laced kaya toast!
Palate is bruised apples and flint. The Oloroso comes through with salty leather. Cream, caramel, toasted coconut, licorice and wood.
Finish green apples and apple seed. More of that lovely coconut, orange pith.
20 – Springbank 16yr 1997 Single Cask 56% cask 07/178-3 (10 years refill bourbon 6 years fresh Madeira)
Nose of milk chocolate and wood glue is bolstered by citrus zest, bruised apples and dusty drawers. Some lifted florals and berry notes.
Palate is sweet and honeyed. There is some real complexity but not particularly integrated. But it’s funky and really interesting. Woody, dark fruit, tobacco and dried out raisins… then more honey. It is really all over the shop raspberry cordial suddenly appears.
Finish is flinty, bruised apples, chalky, slightly peaty with licks of warm milk and honey with a dollop of cream – and those berries?!?
Apologies for my record keeping in 2020. Like most work and life were thrown some challenges thanks to COVID. Unsurprisingly I was still drinking drams and had the opportunity to partake in some sensational online “virtual” tastings including all of the Longrow Reds and a Aberlour A’Bunadh through the batches. Anyway here are my top 5 drams for 2020 – lots of Springbank!
Springbank 1991 by the whisky agency 27 years 46.4%
Nose is beautifully waxy and shows loads of fruit including apples, bananas and apricots. There is caramel and slight spice – some Springbank funk and old whisky smell.
The palate is rich and deep. Old apples, fruity, old and funky, waxy and pristine. Honey and super nutty. Wow there is some interplay between the elements.
But wow this finish is just nuts. It lasts for ever with mango and wax. Old whisky, candles and apples, dusty draws. It is elegant and pristine – the warmth of a smile from a girl in a summer dress.
124 – Craigellachie 12 for Quaich Bar Cask #39215 PX
Nose that is strongly honeyed, with cold butter and minerality. Some liquorice and caramel, slight ozone and green hills. Palate has honey continuing, deep woody notes and controlled sulfur there is a lovely puff of marshmallow. That honey note is even in the finish and there is some real earthy soil.
125 – Springbank 12, 1996 NC2 by Duncan Taylor 46%
Nose of honey, hay and (unpleasantly) plasticine but the apricots and tropical fruits are positive. The palate is gentle and tropical with dried salted mango and a hint of peanut brittle. Simple finish of grape vines. Hmmm… disappointing.
126 – Ichiro’s Malt & Grain 2019 bourbon barrel for The Whisky Plus cask 7172 59%
Delicious grilled bananas with brown sugar on the nose followed by raspberry lollies, dried pineapple, vanilla and crushed ants. Palate is very bourbon like toasted pound cake with vanilla cream, butter, some stone fruit, waffle cones. Lovely long but simple finish of tropical fruits and rancio.
127 – Longrow 1993 10 year old
Nose of lemon barley! Some old bottle effect is there but it blows away with time to revea caramel, hay, salt and pepper. The palate has some Campbeltown funk, bruised apples in light caramel sauce with toasted sesame seeds. The finish has more bruised apple then apricot seeds and green grass.
61 – Springbank 15 (early 2000s bottle)
Nose: Nose of a wax dipped brown banana, caramel dipped old apples, pencil shavings and a hot chocolate on a dusty shelf, hit of my mother’s apricot jam on a honey joy biscuit.
Palate: Beautiful mouth feel, cooling even. A very gentle whisky Honey, burnt rocks and old cream. Green leaves about to smoke.
Finish: Old wood, green leaf smoke and apple snow.
62 – Fleurieu New Make
Nose: Apricot kernels, raw dough, apricots, raisins
Palate: Super intense fruit sugar, raisins, pastry
Finish: Gentle citrus
(No score as new make)
63 – Fleurieu Fountain of Youth 53.3%
Nose: Chestnut flower honey, rubber, salt water taffy
Palate: Raisins, old butter, golden syrup, green figs
Finish: Prunes and muscat grapes
64 – Fleurieu single port cask, selected by Whisky and Alement 49.7%
Nose: Super intense sweet honey and again the metallic taste of chestnut honey, white cheese mould, lemsip, grape seed