Sunday, August 26, 2012

Springbank Pre-Tasting

Time flies by and I'm doing now the pre-tasting for our "Springbank Vertical Tasting" which'll take place at the end of October... hard to believe but it's the 8th tasting that we do... our first anniversary, the 10th event, is coming nearer... I should think about something special for that...

The range of whiskys we'll have this time comes from one of the few distilleries in Campletown which are left nowadays... Springbank. The following whiskys are on the schedule:
  • 9 yo., 58.0 %, Refill Bourbon, Marsala finish, distillery bottling
  • 10 yo., 56.5 %, Sherry cask, Private bottling for Dr. Clemens Dillmann
  • 11 yo., 46.0 %, NC² Range, Duncan Taylor
  • 14 yo., 53.7 %, Scotch Single Malt Circle
  • 14 yo., 51.3 %, Sherry cask, Private bottling for Lateltin Switzerland
  • 28 yo., 54.0 %, Vintage 1974, Dun Bheagan 
  • 6.5 yo., 55.0 %, Springbank private bottling, finished in a Lagavulin cask, very last bottle of the cask (unfiltered)

Springbank is unique in many aspects... it's the oldest distillery which's independently owned by the family.

Springbank produces three different whiskys:
  • Springbank
  • Longrow, peated
  • Hazelburn, unpeated (distilled 3 times)

Another characterizing issue: Springbank is doing a so called "two and half-times" distillation process... parts of the output from the first distillation is drawn off before the second distillation, then mixed with the feints going into the first distillation which ends up in a very unique flavor profile.

Let's start to try them to make some notes for the upcoming tasting event... first in row is the 9 yo. with the Marsala wood finish.

Nose: Boiled fruit, spices, rum raisins, dark chocolate

Taste: Dried fruits, caramel, charred wood, salt, hints of smoke

Aftertaste: Long, sweet and fat

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Take it as a dessert and you´re definitely not wrong. Good starter.

Whisky no. 2 is a 10 yo., a private bottling for a German whisky board (the webaddress is sold in the meantime), an amazing whisky, the dark gold color, the fat body and the thick legs in the glass...

As you can see on the picture I did also some more experiments with a glass, this time I took a Bordeaux glass (which is said to be the best for those kinda tasting stuff) and I got the impression that the whisky opened even more than with the nosing glass.

Nose: Sweet, dried fruits, ginger, nuts

Taste: Creamy and smooth, sherry, dark chocolate, hints of oak, oriental spices, bitter orange

Aftertaste: Long and warming, dried fruits, orange zest

Non chillfiltered + Non coloured = NC², that's a bottling from Duncan Taylor. 11 yo. and stored in Port casks.

Nose: Fruits, toffee, salt, hints of smoke, sweet

Taste: Mix of fruits, tar, smoke, wood, spices, salt

Aftertaste: Covering the palate with a pleasant mixture of spices and sweetness

Whisky no. 4... another bottling of the Scotch Single Malt Circle, we already had some of them in further tastings. This one is 14 yo., distilled in 1996, bottled in 2011 with an ABV of 53.7 %.

Nose: Full and impressive, dried fruits, caramel, toffee

Taste: Caramel, chocolate, wood, spices, nutmeg, rum raisins, plum

Aftertaste: Very long and warming, spices, hints of smoke

The next one... another 14 yo. (05/1996 - 03/2011) which's been bottled for Lateltin in Switzerland. Matured in Sherry casks and bottled with 51.3 %.

Nose: Bloomy, rum fruits, exotical spices

Taste: Dry sweetness, dried fuits, nutmeg, wood, licorice, decent hints of smoke

Aftertaste: Very long with exotical fruits

No. 5, the oldest in the range: a 28 yo., vintage 1974 bottled by Dun Bheagan.

Nose: Vanilla, oak wood, exotical fruits, ripe banana

Taste: Decent Bourbon sweetness, hints of charcoal, mango, oak wood, a touch of smoke

Aftertaste: Very long... first sweet, then smoky...

Springavulin - the last bottle, a 6 yo. Springbank which has been finished for 6 months in a Lagavulin cask in the shop of Werner Hertwig aka Whiskykanzler (, I bought in some kinda auction. It's the very last bottle of the cask. Unfiltered... with a lot of sediment in the bottle... parts of the cask... whatever... bottled with an ABV of 55 %.

Nose: Plum, exotical spices, peatsmoke

Taste: Peat, gun powder, rum raisins, hints of dry sweetness

Aftertaste: Long and warming with a lot peat