Saturday, February 15, 2014

Two Springbanks

First post. Two malts. Both from a personal favourite distillery.

This blog is still a work in progress - well, to be honest it has begun, just now, with little or no work nor progress to speak of as yet - so excuse any lack of trimmings.

Equally, I can offer no mission statement right now - I think/hope this will evolve organically - beyond the discussion of, love for, and obsession with all things whisk(e)y.

Soooooo, the booze...

Scotch Malt Whisky Society 27.104 Cowboy's Delight 
15 Years, 55.6%, Single Refill Sherry Butt

Colour: Deep bronze.

Nose: Smoky sherry (no, really?); balsamic vinegar; herbal notes. Lovely medicinal sweetness.

Palate: Honey, orange peel, rubber. Rubber. Cabbage. Leather, Salt. A numbing menthol.

A lot of sulphur here. I'm not surprised at this, however, as the SMWS notes make explicit mention of this. Water makes it almost undrinkable - cabbage water.

Time in the glass - and indeed time in the bottle, the next day - helps immensely in this regard, though, as the sulphuric notes dissipate and the sweet, herbal leather comes to the fore.

Finish: Long. Clings to the mouth, swelling from the back to the front. Smoky, warm and very, very long.

A somewhat difficult drink this. A truly beautiful nose is followed by a truly challenging palate.
I don't normally add water to my malts (I did here for the sake of science), so I need never see that cabbage water again. The sulphur really has blown off over time.


Springbank 16 Year Old Single Cask Madeira Finish
56% 10 Years in Refill Bourbon, 6 Years in Madeira Cask
GBP 80 (ish, can't quite recall, and is probably long gone)

Colour: A beautiful, light gold.

NoseHoney biscuits; that trademark Springbank salty, ginger action.

Palate: Big. Coats the back of the tongue with a light (non-cloying) honeyed sweetness. Fruit. Textural tannins. Seasoned malts.

Finish: Sweet at first. Then malty. Coastal saltiness. Drying. Medium long. 

This is a dangerously tasty whisky. Delicious.
Hugely drinkable and more-ish.
This is (in my all too short Springbank-drinking career) probably the best Springbank I've tasted. 
You could really keep drinking this all night.

Thoughts etc
So, two rather exceptional, different versions of Campbeltown's finest here.
I think I'm going to have a wonderful time drinking and watching each of these as they evolve and empty in my cellar over the next few months.

The OB Madeira finish, though, is really pretty special I reckon.