tasting by Serge ( Whiskyfun.com ) 03/04/2015 : Springbank 29 yo 1974/2003 (51.2%, Chieftains for Ton Overmars, Amsterdam, hogshead, cask #1778, 216 bottles) Ian Mcleod’s Chieftain’s or Chieftain’s Choice ranges had quite a few old Springbanks around ten/fifteen years ago, and many have been good. Colour: gold (proper gold). Nose: another world. More complex and subtle, with finer phenolic touches, a bit of metal polish, brine, mushrooms, humus, moss, kippers, tobacco, soot, linseed oil, grass smoke… So some rather pure unadulterated old Springbank that has what’s needed where it’s needed. With water: gets totally cloudy, it’s almost milk. More smoke (burning seaweed on a remote beach) and ‘farmy strawberries’. Lovely. Mouth (neat): it’s a nervous, peppery, slightly acrid Springbank, with bitter lemons, grass, dust, soot, wax and just a touch of orange blossom honey to keep it gentle and approachable. With water: more oranges. Classic orange/soot/oil/metal profile that wasn’t uncommon in these vintages. Finish: medium length. A tad more leathery. Comments: solid, even if it hasn’t quite got the complex roundness that comes from more sherried old Springbanks. SGP:562 - 86 points.