Thanks to /u/boyd86 for opening this up for a nice, wee tasting we had.
Springbank. If there are golden ages of whisky (and there are), then Springbank would have as many as Persia in your average game of Civilization 5 (it’s a lot). I’ve heard testimony from people that their older stuff is ambrosia from the gods.
Not to mention they currently have the oldest fermented malt, something which some whisky connoisseurs note as a sign of quality in their dram and a sign of lowering quality in current whiskies.
I mean, who else but a humble, amazing company would specifically change their labels to disco hell just to make sure the other distilleries don’t feel as bad. No one but Springbank.
But enough sucking their dick, because a) it’s not Sunday and b) I lost my lip gloss that is used as lube.
I’m fortunate enough to try Springbank 21 Single Cask. However there’s an addendum to pointing that out.
It would seem that Springbank 21 Single Cask is a yearly release. Not only that, but to ensure everyone gets enough, different markets get different single casks.
So since I’m from Canada, of course I’m trying the Single Cask release from New Zealand. I mean, we’re practically neighbours.
No, I don’t understand it either. Somehow the extras from that Mecca of whisky, New Zealand, ended up in Canada. And Canada, this desert of Scotch, don’t get their own (and honestly, I don’t blame them, we couldn’t sell an octave worth).
None the less, I’m happy for the Kiwis giving up some bottles to us Canadians. Great chaps. So let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Cask type: Oloroso sherry cask
Outrun: 691 bottles
Market: New Zealand
Colour: 5Y 9/6
Nose: Floral bouquet, massive funk, pear, linoleum, seaside, mixed nuts, banana, pine
Initial nose is a blast of different flowers followed by funk. Almost as if they were trying to show what it smells like when you first buy them and when you finally throw them out because they smell vegetal and dead.
But in a good way.
There’s a lot here. The nuttiness mixes well with the banana, there’s brine but it’s more refined and just around the edges, and honestly the young pine note doesn’t belong at all but is nice because… well who doesn’t like pine?
Taste: Banana bread, caramel, lemon, raspberry, pomelo, salted bread, taro bubble tea, cinnamon, orange syrup
Taste is as complex as the nose. More so, I’d say. Lots of interesting fruit notes, funk that’s become more of that molasses/old banana flavour, and an odd earth/sweetness overall.
Oh, and spice. It’s important for these drams to have some spice, otherwise it tastes like you’re just drinking a well made virgin rum drink, which now that I think about it should just be virgin cocktail, but somehow I associate fruit mixes with rum.
Finish: Caramel, brine, butterscotch, cola, raisin, floral, plum sauce, soft pretzels, funk
Starts out simple. A simple salt and caramel mix, followed by more rich flavours as you sip more. There’s some light floral additions on the side, which then fuck the shit out of the rich aspects and give you plum sauce and then funk.
And that’s how I met your mother kids.
Conclusion: It’s a giant fruit bomb in all the right ways, has plenty of the well known funk, it is multi-layered, has great flavours, and overall is quite complex. I wish it had more smoke elements in it, if I’m comparing it to younger and different Springbanks.
It doesn’t set off memories, and it’s actually quite subtle when you give it time. They’ve made something quite complex here, but I feel it needs more oomph. Granted, my bias is against Oloroso casks, so that may be showing.
Glad some of those nice Kiwis gave up some of their whisky for us up here in Canada. It sure does help getting through the 10 month long winters here.
Scotch review #594, Campbeltown review #31, Whisky Network review #990