Well, I was out and about this afternoon and figured what the heck, and drove over to Bevmo to have a look. Found a good selection and it was a tough choice, but came home with Springbank 10 year and Aberlour 12 year. I definitely knew I wanted the Springbank but the second bottle was a tough choice, as there were so many to choose from. The one other bottle I really wanted was the Laddie 10 but they don't have it, seems nobody in town does, so I figured I'd give the Speysides another fair shake. As I said before, I keep going back to the same couple of Speysiders, not a fair representation, and figured a couple more higher quality offerings and I'd be able to have a good grip on the genre. It was a toss up between the Aberlour and Macallan. The Aberlour 12 is extremely smooth, fruity, soft but giving a bitmof heat on the finish. It's good but I like the Springbank a lot more. Funny, but I thought maybe I didn't have a good grip on Speyside whisky having spent most of my time with Glenlivet, but from the first sip I knew Aberlour was a Speyside. Guess I knew all along. It's good, and I'll definitely slowly enjoy the bottle before making any assumptions.
This Springbank is a completely different animal! I'll wait to enjoy a few more glases before making any proclamations but I may have hit the nail on the head as far as a whiskey with characteristics of both Islay and Speyside. This is pretty unique stuff.