It’s great, of course. A bit all over place though: it swings wildly between being extremely sweet, and being dry and savoury. Lots of Springbank character as you’d expect, but in a bit of a sunnier and, well, younger context. It’s not as funky as Springbank 10, instead doubling down on the malty and tropical-fruit sweetness, with the funk and peat in a more supporting role.
All in all, there’s plenty to love here, but it’s not lifechanging if you already like Springbank.
Nose: There’s a dose of funk, but overall it’s fresh and summery. Loads of juicy tropical fruit: starfruit, dragonfruit, kiwi, mango, and pineapple. Citron and peach as well. Fresh-cut flowers and hay, fresh-baked bread, roasted almonds, honey, and rich vanilla buttercream frosting. Loads of earthy malted barley. There’s a some savoury too: black olives and seaweed. Just a hint of mild peat, coming across more as a wood-fired oven. There’s some kind of herbal tea in there, but I can’t quite tell what.
A dribble of water brought out some fresh navel orange, anise, clove, mint, and grass.
Palate: Light texture. Intensely flavourful and sweet on the arrival! Yellow plums, granadilla, barley, and salt. It develops from there into a litany of deep malty notes: toasted sesame seeds, chapati, glazed cinnamon buns, turning into teak, olive oil, ham hocks, camphor, and thyme. A puff of wood smoke in the middle, followed by the warm glow of smoldering peat into the finish.
Finish: Sweet and salty. Crystallized pineapple, muscat grapes, basil, olive oil, and honey. Pizza crust and Montreal bagels, from real wood-fired ovens, of course. A lingering hint of salted meat.