Thanks to /u/smoked_herring for this dram.
Springbank. Can they do anything wrong? News at 11.
Oh, wait, I write things like this. I can’t wait until 11. Also it’s international. I didn’t think this through at all.
A few years ago Springbank released their 12 year old single cask series. Different cask types, a simple label, full details, and cask strength. Of these, the sherry casks were: An amontillado, a cream sherry, a fino, and this one, an Oloroso.
Sales were slow for all of them, not just Springbank 12 1996 Single Cask Oloroso Sherry Butt, so when they brought out 14 year versions, with little price change, people grabbed them. Not just sherry this time, after all.
I’ve relegated my hopes to trying these only if they pop up, and was lucky enough to find the 14 rum cask (news at 11… I mean, in my archives).
And now I’ve been lucky enough to find Springbank 12 1996 Single Cask Oloroso Sherry Butt. Well… luck is an odd duck.
First off, not a duck. Don’t try ordering Peking luck. You won’t get what you want.
Second of all, I’ve recently realized that Oloroso sherry whiskies aren’t my thing. So why trade for this?
Well I have to try everything, don’t I? Otherwise I don’t get the achievements at the end.
So let’s see how this full matured, Oloroso sherry conditioned Springbank tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Age: 12 years
Cask type: Oloroso Sherry butt
Cask Number: 96/267
Number of bottles: 591
Colour: 7.5YR 5/10
Nose: Peach, oak, cherry, caramel, raisin, cloves
Nice peach notes. It’s worth noting here that the main thing I typically don’t like with Oloroso is the lighter cherry notes, and the darker sweets (if I can use that term to mean Autumn flavours like brown sugar, plums, black cherries) are missing.
This isn’t the case here. There’s some nice caramel keeping it going, like Viagara to your grandparents.
Taste: Creme caramel, sprity, raisin, lots of brine, nectarine
Wow there’s a lot of brine. I mean, the caramel strength is trying to fight the good fight, but we’re chugging pickle juice levels here.
Again, lighter fruit notes, and some richer notes, however… wow that brine is hard to overcome (no, I’m not talking about your grandparents having sex again).
Finish: Oak, cinnamon raisin, bread, nectarine, smoke, chemical/sprity
More simple notes here. Spicey, it takes to the Oloroso well here. There’s a chemical pop in the tongue that goes between tasty and not so much. Hard to reconcile that. At first it was just oak.
Talk about burying the lead on this one, probably my favourite part (still not talking about your grandparents having sex, stop bring it up).
Conclusion: So I think there was a few things that went right and a few things that went cock eyed here.
On the one hand, the Oloroso has given as much as it could. There’s some honest to goodness nice flavours here, stronger and more rich than other casks I’ve had from that sherry.
However I don’t think it could take one the sheer strength of Springbank. Something was bound to fall out, like an awkward tit at the Superbowl. But enough about birds falling from the sky.
The taste takes the brunt, with too much brine on it. The finish is nice, save for some chemical parts.
At the end of the day, I think this needed some ex-bourbon to round it out, some more time to let those off notes settle down, or maybe just something more powerful. Springbank has an amazing flavour, and it’s evident here: Oloroso just doesn’t have the guns to wrangle that cow (still not talking about your grandparents having sex).
Scotch review #725, Campbeltown review #37, Whisky Network review #1199