This Scotch was so unexpectedly good I wanted to share my review. I'm tempted to make the 20 my next purchase. The coal roasted malts really stand out, but are not overstated. I upload several more reviews to my site, though a few are bourbons. My wife bought me 4 scotches for valentines day, but I did buy her a years worth of couple dance lessons. Have a great day!
This was an unexpected early valentines from my wife, and I must say I’m a lucky man.
“Springbank Distillery is unique. It is the oldest independent family owned distillery in Scotland.” Another distinctive quality comes from the coal roasting of their malts, a tradition left over from the sucessful days of the nearby mines (Murray).
taste - unexpectedly cool to begin, morning dew, honeydew, balanced herbs, light on peat, malts bring out sweetness, stone smooth finish, perfectly balanced leaving you wanting more.
smell - musk, marine, salts, bogs, sugar cane, earth and stone; phenomenal!
look - sandy beach, hay, dilute yellow ochre
rating - 9
price - $40 - $60
Murray, Jim. "The Making of Springbank Whiskey." Springbank. 2008. Web. 10 Feb. 2011. <http://www.springbankwhisky.com/springbank.story/>.
Sorry nobody responded to your post, I surely missed the post earlier as I would have responded since Springbank is a huge favorite of mine.
As for the 10 year, I'm especially a fan of the 100 proof bottling, but all of the Springbanks I've had are quite complex and overall marvelous. I can only contribute this to their tiny and wholly-handcrafted production. The same holds true with the other Campbeltown brands they have their hands involved in (which is all of them, currently).
As you've become aware of Springbank, and a convert, other distiller's with whom you should immediately insist your wife buy you bottles of are Highland Park, Glenturret, Benromach (specifically their 10 year), Dallas Dhu (if you can find it) and Oban's Distiller's Edition.
The only Glenturret I can get my hands on in the U.S. is an 11 year Gordon & Macphail bottling. It's a beast, but within a day of being open and with a splash of water, it is a beast somewhat tamed. Subtle heathery-peat smoke on the back end, sherry cask aged but with a drying finish, and quite structurally involved.
Any Dallas Dhu you can find now is at least 25 years old and $200-plus (unless you get lucky like me and find a 10 year that's been in someone's stock for 15-20 years). They're a bit lighter than Springbank but equally embracing and compelling. A bit smoky, briny and with a drying finish; I wish they were still producing as they were a very fine malt.
One of the whiskies I'm drinking now is a Signatory Vintage bottling of Highland Park. It's a single cask, sherry cask, cask strength 20 year - which runs $20 less than the Highland Park official 18 year bottling. Anyway, just a bloody marvelous dram.
Anyway, glad to find a fellow Springbanker!
I missed this for some reason, too, and I must agree all around with you both. Springbank 10 is the best example I can think of that expresses the fact that a whisky need not be particularly old to be particularly good, and both standard expressions are fantastic.
Dale, I must confess to some envy of that Signatory Highland Park: I love me some Highland Park, and while I've chosen carefully, Signatory has never disappointed me. Sounds like quite a find!
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