Saturday, December 13, 2014

Springbank 10 Year Old 100 Proof

Both MAO and Michael have reviewed batches of Springbank 12 YO Cask Strength this week (MAO Batch 7 and Michael Batch 6 and Batch 7) so I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon and open some Springers to review as I'm a sucker for both Springbank and the power of suggestion.

I still have a couple of batches of the 12 CS tucked away (which I'll probably open sooner rather than later as I've been busily emptying bottles during my newborn-induced sleep deprivation of the last two weeks) but thought I should at least try to be a little different and open this (slightly) older bottling of the 10 Year Old 100 Proof. The bottling code is 07/86 which I believe signifies a 2007 bottling, but I could be wrong. In any case, it has the pre-2008 label so it's thereabouts.

This review is based on the second and third pours from the bottle.

Springbank 10 Year Old, 100 Proof, 57% (circa 2007)

Nose: Very aggressive, it's almost painful to sniff at close-range such is the alcohol heat coming off it. Quite meaty and funky first up, with a bit of ginger ale coming out too. There's a whole lot of savoury, earthy notes coming off it now too. The meat fades a little after some time in the glass, and some dried fruit - sultanas and raisins - emerges, along with some other sherry notes like cloves and oranges. Water does little to the nose beyond taming that powerful punch it's packing neat.

Palate: Big arrival. Salt, leather - all that Springbank goodness - and sherry spices. Oily mouthfeel. There's no way you could call this whisky sweet, but its essential dryness has a seam of sherried (dried) fruit running through it that supports it all the way through to the finish. The addition of water releases that sweetness just a fraction more though.

Finish: Long. Salty to the end. Those sherry spices linger for a long time too, coating and numbing the mouth. There is also a faint echo - at the very end, when everything else has melted away - of that funky meat note found on the nose. Water seems to both enhance the presence of those tingling spices and extend the already rather long finish.

Having previously tried later versions of this (not sure which but they had the newer label so I'm guessing post-2010) I knew to expect an even more savoury, meaty Springbank than found in the 12 CS (which I think is consistently awesome and count as one of my all-time favourites), but this exceeded those expectations in all its salty, funky glory. So good. It's a rougher, less polished experience but, boy, what an experience.

Gotta love Springbank.

1 comment:

  1. Looking at this again tonight (neat) I'm getting some ash on the finish that I missed or didn't get last time, while the meat has retreated a little.