EYE / NOSE
Visually a nice bourbon clay. I have to admit, I don't spend too long with the optics. The malt immediately goes to Glencairn, where I give it the opportunity to unfold, acclimatise and breathe a little. First impression ... leathery SPRINGBANK Funk meets sweet, juicy blood oranges. Salty-maritime notes give the nose an 'island character'. Smokier than the 1993 Reifferscheid Bottling, albeit with that slightly tobacco-like, oily note that I like so much. A little dirty, as befits Springbank's special distillation process. I already know that something great is about to happen, as long as a completely unexpected, nasty off note doesn't cloud the enjoyment unexpectedly.
The malt plays around the tongue with fruity sweetness and very fine veils of smoke. Then Springbank, also oily notes in the mouth and taste. A bit of a cowshed that has absolutely nothing to do with sulfur. The oranges seem to be getting ripe, almost overripe, the sweetness changes, meets strong spices from the oak. The wood is present, but never unpleasantly overreaching. Quite the opposite. The malt develops a very pleasant warmth in the mouth and triggers the YUMMY reflex in me.
FINISH / CONCLUSION
Not a steam hammer, but a very elegant, perfectly matured Springbank, bottled at exactly the right time. Big cinema. Long finish. He came to stay. Very fine, pleasant, slightly chalky-looking coolness in the finish. Now comes campfire smoke, which stretches the finish with relish. The Glencairn is empty yet? My taste buds call for encore. There will surely be a few veteran connoisseurs who will rightly state that Springbank barrels # 441 and # 442 were even better in the past, and that the quality has actually not improved over the decades. Also true! But I probably won't open many of my old local barleys anymore, as a small dram now costs significantly more than the whole bottle. In any case, I don't know what to criticize here. The clear flavors? The typical Springbank character? The elegance? Everything fits here perfectly for my simple taste.
More notes and reviews on Facebook at: #Maltkanzlei