On Dec. 24, 2016, while combing the liquor stores of Calgary for special finds, I came across a bottle of this spirit still at its original selling price. I had a bottle of the Springbank R&K (unopened) and had heard that all three expressions were good so I picked it up. Sadly, like many special finds, I never got around to cracking the seal.
Fast forward to December 2017 and an Epic tasting chez moi, and an open bottle was presented by @Robert99, and I recall enjoying it that night. Even nicer, there was a prepared sample for me so that I could review it, thereby delaying even longer the opening of my bottle. It is this sample I review now.
This expression is reviewed in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting. This is my first review in which I employ the Highland whisky glass (H2H with a Glencairn).
In the Glencairn, rich and sweet, with lemon citrus. Same in the Highland glass. With time I can make out that savoury Springbank signature, and is it my imagination or is there a hint of peat? Some fruitiness makes it a little more complex. Nice nose. With water, especially, in the Highland glass, the nose is a little more rich, fruity and syrupy. (22.5/25)
Slightly hot, dry and bitter on the first sip. Sweetens a little after that. Sour in the development. In the Highland glass it seems to come out a little sweeter, but other than that the flavours are the same. With water, it becomes quite dry, more peppery and a little bitter. Maybe just a touch too bitter. (21/25)
A bit oaky. Medium short. Astringent. Unremarkable. Water increases the oaky astringency.
The nose promises more than the taste delivers, especially with water. On the palate it is not quite as complex.
Score: Neat - 85.5/100 With Water: 85.5 /100
This is not bad. As expected, with the cask types, there is a lot of wood influence. It gets tastier as I continue to sip it. I should mention that it goes really well with chocolate covered caramel balls.
Thanks again @Robert99!