The malt whisky here is limited in the usual Glen Scotia way, but it exceeds many OB's from this distillery. Lovely cask strength, nice rum casks. Now I'm starting to sound like Pippin or Merry minus the "nice crispy bacon" which this bottling does not have.
I love the oceanic side to what matured for 15 years, which is a nice length of time (for a Springbank, which this is not or is it?) Some dramtic similarities when compared with most Glen Scotia bottlings).
On the palate, there's welcome salt (from the water used?), caramel, a buttery croissant note, vanilla, and an old skool feeling/aesthetic.
So why did I debate giving it an 87 if not an 86? Well, there's something lacking but it's hard to put one's finger on.
A lack of complexity? Yes, that's it. Back in the old days (1990's) I could buy a bottle of Clynelish, Springbank, or Ardbeg that satisfied this place in my brain that is so hard to itch these days. A soothing malt. A carefree "forget about your troubles" whisky. Of course, back then the whiskies were, by and large, not cask strength, which I've now come to prefer.
So I will end my review by saying that this single malt is a working man's "go to" style beverage and there's nothing wrong with that . . . . but . . . I still think that I'm going to trade one of my two reserve bottles.
Maybe I will regret only having one reserve left. WB isn't always right with the group consensus. I do disagree from time to time.
I like to come across on this Website as though I'm "my own man" but the 87-ish rating for this rather festive bottling seems accurate based upon my gut reaction after my palate has cooled and my nasal passages are "all clear."