...and again the first two sips are sub-standard and not tasty at all. But then it starts getting pretty good and both the nose and the taste enfold a complex and delicious profile that is a mixture of all port wine, rum, woods and the old Springbank malt. This dram started at about overall 83 points for the first sip and ended up with astonishing 91 points after the fourth (and more). So forget about drinking small samples, you will need at least 5cl to enjoy this dram (better more)...
The colour is russetmuscat and the nose offers an interesting mix of sour-sweet (port) winey and fruity-spicy rum aromas with the Springbank profile staying rather shy. This changes upon breathing and fine floral, waxy, solvent (OBF) and machine oily notes pop up one after the other. This nose was a little unbalanced first but now it gained harmony and constantly releases new aromas like old leather, a cowshed in summertime and shy maritime impressions (fishing nets?). I advice to use a big spheric blender's glass to catch them all as the nose out of a standard Glencairn is somewhat restrained. This nose started at 88 points but enfolded beautiful with enough time (give it at least 20 minutes). Another ten minutes later dark chocolatey and toffee aromas take over before fine herbs dare to enter the stage. Hey, it is really fun to nose this dram over a very long time (you can sip out of a second glass in the meantime, but never drink out of the blender's glasses because they were designed just for nosing and taste dull upon drinking)!
The taste during the first two sips is completely dominated by the drying mouthfeel so it enfolds its flavours after the third sip earliest. But then there is a delicious amalgam of sour winey, sweet barley and demerara sugary, fruity, waxy, salty and bitter (green tea, tobacco) flavours that are not layered - so they all pop up at the same time. The first sip tasted like 80 points max, the second at around 84 points but now it is a fine and delicious taste - I never had a dram with such a long fuse before. After some chewing I can find additional layers, finally - chocolates, spices and hints of smoke/peat.
The dram arrives hot and peppery on the palate with a nice coating effect and a significant bitter-drying feeling that stays completely throughout the first sip. The second sip is better, obviously my taste buds need some time to adapt to that dryness. The finish is long and adds some tasty chocolatey, nutty and caramel flavours before the initial bitter-dryness takes over again (but this time it is not unpleasant, maybe my taste buds have accepted this mouthfeel completely now). Water releases chalky-mineral and some medicinal (bandages, fresh gauze) aromas in the nose that I really like in combination with all the other flavours. Unfortunately, the taste flattens quickly upon reduction so I like to nose this dram both neat and somewhat reduced but I clearly prefer the neat dram on the palate (using two glasses).