This whisky needs water. One will lose a great deal without 1/4 to 1/2 of a teaspoon in a normal sized dram. time is also needed. About ten minutes in the glass. You can tell it’s ready when the putty flavor comes into the fore, and the nose gets more Springbanky.
On the palate, there's caramel, a buttery croissant note, vanilla, and an old skool feeling/aesthetic. Oceanic. Wet sand. Sea salt. Peat. Yo ho ho and a bottle of ____ .
Cool design, as well. The label is simple yet classy and small, which is striking. I really like the box for this one. I’ve been doing a lot of white ink on black myself as an artist and so I’m biased :) Metallic gold lettering. Tall narrow bottles these days from the distillery is a nice change of pace in the industry. The big raised glass seal also has an old fashioned charm that almost seems to clash with the tall narrow bottle, since bottles with raised seals were often squat, but I like it.
I found it rather endearing that the cask strength very young peaty Kilkerran actually used Springbank bottles, ha! Well, Glen Scotia is maintaining a little more distance from “Mother” in Campbeltown. I actually really like the fact that all Campbeltown malts are similar. It’s kind of like going to Little Italy for dinner in New York City. Yes, there are similarities as far as the cuisine is concerned but each restaurant is unique and the good ones bring in visitors to the area and help each other to thrive.
I taste tested this festival bottling next to the Springbank 15 Guadeloupe Rum from November 1. the Springbank was more complex and well just wonderful, but the GS 2019 festival bottling caught up with a bit of water and time. It never reached the perfection of my rare Society Springbank but for the money I like the festival bottling just fine and the effluvium left dried in my glass a few hours after the dram is finished is nicer.
Just for fun, I also taste tested alongside a Springbank 12 CS Batch 15. WOW, what a dramtic difference. The other two are more “high pitched” and just so ethereal when compared with the big, bombastic, fusty notes of the Springbank cask strength. It caused me to realize that there is some sulfur in this batch of Springbank after all. And yet the sulfur seems almost jammy and plum-like. Wow, all three glasses are just great. The two rum casks are a different animal from the Springbank bourbon/sherry cask batch 15 release. And the batch 15 is among my faves of the CS springers.