This reviewed Alchemist Bottling of Springbank 10 YO was distilled in December 1995 and bottled in April 2006. This bottling vats distillate aged in "fresh" port pipes and first fill bourbon barrels. Alchemist is an independent bottler owned by Gordon Wright, one of the founders of Murray McDavid, and whose family owns the Springbank Distillery
The reviewed bottle is 25% full, has been open for 2 years, and preserved with inert gas for 1 year
Colour: medium dark; quite dark for malt, reflecting the Port influence
Nose: quite beautiful Port flavours, more high-pitched than Port usually manifests, and at once both fruity and floral. This smells of marmalade made from a bouquet of beautiful fresh Roses. Standard characteristic Springbank base malt lies beneath. Peat is present, but relatively subtle. Flavours from wood are noticeable and in perfect balance and harmony with the wine and malt flavours. A hint of salt. Superb
Taste: the nose flavours translate well to the palate with the Port Wine influence being stronger, slightly edgier, lower pitched, and more emphatic, than it was in the nose. The peat is very noticeable when you look for it, and well-integrated. This is sweet with an excellent dry balance and some of that Springbank saltiness present too
Finish: this Alchemist 2006 bottling of Springbank holds up extremely well for a long and "Porty" finish
Balance: this is my sister's bottle, and I have probably consumed 3/4 s of what has been drunk from it. She has 100+ bottles of whisk(e)y in her house, but when I go to visit her this is THE one I reach for first...and the one I ask her to bring with her when we go on trips together
This is quite delicious, and probably my favourite Springbank after that 1967 40 yo Duncan Taylor @ $ 400 per dram I had 5 years ago. This is also probably my favourite Port-influenced malt to date. Port is quite interesting combined with the Springbank base malt characteristics. In this case it works extremely well. I really wish that there were a bottle of this available for me to buy, but, given that this was bottled in 2006, I think that the supply probably dried up awhile ago. Nonetheless, if by chance you see this one for sale, I highly recommend it
Lovely review as always @Victor. I remember my taste of this bottle very fondly . . . it was simply a great dram. But in my memory nothing stood out as characteristic "Springbank" or even "Port" influence. But in my memory this bottle was slightly overshadowed by that Port Charlotte. I hope to try it once more before all is gone . . . I know it was my own foolish fault for missing out last time.
What an interesting bottle to review. Many thanks. With "spoils" such as this, you are indeed the "victor!"