Thanks to /u/xile_ for sharing this one with us.
Springbank is now the leading distillery for fermentation time, with 110 hours. Most places do between 40 hours and 3 days, with some doing a few more than that. The result is evident in Springbank’s quality, and for that they should be praised.
The true reason I bring this up is I find young Springbanks have these nice, powerful flavours, like the legs of the women I hire to wrestle me in some vain attempt to get me up.
So when Springbank 8 Fresh Sherry Springbank Society showed up at the tasting, I was quite interested. When I heard it was quite sulfur forward, I was a tad worried. I’m not worried about sulfur per say, however my fellow tasters love the stuff quite a bit.
None the less, going in I was told nothing else save for the age and the freshness of the cask, which I hear is super fresh. Though coincidentally not super freaky. Let’s be clear on that.
So let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: $105 CAD from the Springbank Society
Cask Type: Fresh Sherry Butt
Distilled: September 2007
Bottled: April 2016
One of: 594 bottles
Colour: 7.5YR 6/8
Nose: Sulfur, grapefruit, coal, blue cheese, peach, banana funk, cranberry
So my fellow reviewers were not kidding about the sulfur. This may be quite a lot for some people.
Given some time we get more of a coal note. That dirty, distinct earth note that I can never forget after working on a coal ship. Because I’m over 100 years old, it would seem.
It’s really funky given time, and after giving it a good amount of time to open up (because holy damn it needs it), I’m really liking the funk and the fruit. And the blue cheese, which may just be what I think funk smells like. So take that with a grain of salt.
Taste: Funk, peach, pear, honey, butter
Again, needs time to open up with the fruit. I’m glad the funk sticks around, as it makes this different than a typical dram. Adds something to each flavour.
That said, I’ll say the taste was my least favourite. It was nice, and reminded me of Balvenie (save the funk), however it doesn’t hold a candle to the finish and nose.
A sulfur candle, if you will (I kill me).
Finish: Peat, canned peaches, brine, rubber, funk, caramel
Hmm, a nice peat blast with fruit, big caramel, and more funk. Big finish. Blows you away at first, as you’re expecting funk, and it plays death metal. Or whatever peat is represented in the dual music/flavour note joke I was telling.
As a peat head, I liked it.
Conclusion: If this had a more complex or developed taste, this would be an easy winner every time for me. And honestly, if you look past that, it’s a no brainer to buy. I can see why people have enjoyed this dram in the past.
That said, watch out: This is funky. This is strong. It’s powerful. If your friends like subtle, or smooth, it’s not going to be for them. It’s that whisky you drink because you’re a huge whisky fan.
Scotch review #696, Campbeltown review #36, Whisky Network reviews #1157