Nose: a little discreet at very first nosing, getting quickly boldly dry and coffeeish but also nicely jammy (cooked strawberries). Lots of Corinth raisins, notes of rum, smoke, barbecue, fireplace… Gravy and dried oranges, cocoa… Certainly less exuberantly fruity than other old Springbanks, surprisingly ashy (matchsticks) and meaty.Notes of ham. Certainly beautiful but maybe not grand, lacking a little expressivity although it does keep developing even after a long time, getting fruitier (apricots) and then very vegetal (lots of lovage and parsley). Definitely not a classical Springbank.
Mouth: much creamier, much more ‘Springbank’ now, with quite some coconut, fruitcake, a little salt, candy sugar… What’s more, it’s bold whisky, very invading now. Goes on with all sorts of crystallized fruits (mostly citrus, especially grapefruit), a little rancio, concentrated wine sauce… Gets nicely bitter (old walnuts, fino), salty buttered caramel, coffee flavoured fudge, liquorice stick… Now it gets really grand, with superb resinous notes, bergamot, quince jelly, funny hints of smoked fish, kippers… Better and better indeed.
Finish: The finish is very long, thick, coating but perfectly balanced, on ‘smoked and salted small bitter oranges’. Ah, if only that could exist! 94 points.
Nose: a rather explosive and unusual nose of mid-fermented and dried fruits, with lots of dried longans, slightly rotten oranges, dates and figs (hints of arrak), very ripe apricots, sultanas… All that is totally great, don’t get me wrong. Also great smokiness and minerality. Goes on with oriental pastries, rosewater, cedar box, fresh parlsey (yeah, like in a Lebanese restaurant), getting oakier with time (nutmeg and cinnamon). Again, very unusual and very fabulous.
Mouth: ah yes, it’s very good. Not properly bold but the attack is quite ‘funny’, in two steps (first dried fruits, then salt). Lots of strong honey, rancio, beeswax, quince paste, orange liqueur, vanilla fudge… Quite some spices from the wood as well, hints of burnt cake and roasted raisins, prunes…
Finish: And the finish is quite long, jammy, rummy and honeyed – with again that usual salty touch. Extremely good and quite different from the well-known Local Barleys and company. I still just love it: 93 points.