Appearance: Color is polished mahogany. As expected, smaller, faster legs, along with fairly small “tears,” display characteristics of a whisky older than ten years, although technically I cannot say so because the bottle is NAS.
Nose: I’m enchanted by an unexpected amount of smokiness for a Springer. It almost reminds me of a Longrow. On top of this, I also appreciate the coastal brine, along with farminess evocative of an early Clynelish. Think sun-dried “meadow muffins.”
A delightful Springer “wet wool” note also comes through in spades. I’m not getting much in the way of heavier industrial notes, however. Some more conventional sweet notes are certainly here, gloating in the glass. We’re talking about dark chocolate, croissant, Ceylon tea, penuche, and glazed pecans. Exquisite.
Palate: In some ways, the mouth is a bit of a let-down when compared with such a complex nose. Meadow muffin farminess and wet wool notes are not present, as one finds in Springbank’s Local Barley 16 Year Old, but there is a marine air type of thing happening. Coastal dunnage warehouses strike again.
I’m happy to report a cigar filler note, along with some antique leather. As in the nose, there are sweet nothings present, but not with the same level of intensity. Expect more dark chocolate, black licorice, brown sugar that almost reminds me of penuche, and some stewed sugary orchard fruits (peach, apple, and persimmon).
Finish: Contact with the smaller oak casks really affects this finish. Black pepper, baker’s chocolate, almond, Honduran cigar wrapper, clove, and a nice clean type of smoke come together almost too seamlessly to keep one guessing. In other words, the finish doesn’t tend to vary much depending upon time in the glass. I was surprised this finish wasn’t sweeter, given the nose and palate, but, hey, I’ll take it. Length is medium. I do taste some larger casks in this batch, if I’m not entirely mistaken, and they serve to add more distinctive character, especially in the finish.