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Springbank 10 Year Old

60th anniversary of Speyside cooperage perfection

5 3795

@GeorgyReview by @Georgy

16th Sep 2017

1

  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    95

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

This Springbank will start off my next 8 reviews of the whisky I was so fortunate to try at a Moscow Whisky Festival (2017). I am a big fan of the OB Springbank 10, and so I thought I'd try this special one to compare the two.

Nose: you get that original Springbank character right away, but this time with more sweetness. Very balanced, gentle oak, hazelnuts and walnuts, toffee, brown sugar, dried fruit, some spice. If I had more time to spend with it, I'm sure I would get even more specific.

Taste: much more intense in flavor than the standard, big, rounded, syrupy, a touch of salt, spice notes, hints of remote peatiness all based on that nice dried fruit sweetness, even a little walnut bitterness, licorice.

Finish: long with gentle black tea and tobacco.

Overall impression: just like Springbank 10, only better. Why don't they do it every time? Why do you get to try such gems only at whisky events.

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37 comments

@Victor
Victor commented

@Georgy, I think that the answer to your question (paraphrased) 'Why isn't all the standard OB Springbank 10 yo as good as the special release Springbank 10 yo?' is that the top 1% of casks by quality remains only the top 1% of casks by quality. There is a relatively little of the best juice to go around. The same can be said for all premium products, which draw from the best barrels/casks from which the distillers work. My guess is that almost all premium and special release products derive from no more than "the best" 2-5% of barrels available. This is even more true of the very large distillers than of an operation like Springbank. The distillers are not throwing away the so-so quality barrels of whisky. Almost all of them will go into the standard line products. They rely on blending skill to even out the idiosyncrasies and rough edges of individual rogue barrels by blending them in with barrels/casks of contrasting flavours.

about one year ago 4Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

But more careful cask selection at the outset can raise the quality of all of the output. Look at Bladnoch under Armstrong. They invested in good casks and the outcome was good.

Of course when you're looking at a magnitude of 1000 x the Bladnoch output, it's hard to find so many good casks. But sometimes leaving the juice in the cask a little longer can help.

I don't want to rag on Springbank. I like their stuff. But in general, and we see this a lot with NAS young stuff, distilleries want to bottle and sell (because they know we'll buy it) as quickly as possible rather than wait for the best time...

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

@Georgy
Georgy commented

@Nozinan That mentality will lead us all to the end of this civilization. Fast food whisky, fast food music, fast food services, fast food products. As a result, a lot of people end up living a fast food kinda life

about one year ago 3Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@Nozinan But Ken Grier from Macallan said that NAS is all about selecting casks at their peak maturity. And "liberating blenders from shackles of age statements". Do you mean to suggest they are lying ??? I'm shocked !!!

about one year ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@OdysseusUnbound No, they are not lying. They're just full of it.

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

Choosing high quality casks prior to aging is not an exact science. The quality of a cask is only certain after its matured whisky can be sampled and appraised for quality. There will always be some duds among the casks selected, and the superstar casks among the casks selected will always be relatively few. The few superstar casks produce the few superstar whiskies.

about one year ago 4Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

Bottom line: any Springbank 10 year old is better than any other 10 year old non-peated whisky.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@BlueNote I beg to differ. One of the most delicious whiskies I have ever had was a Bladnoch 10 YO bottled at 55%, sherry cask matured, with no peat. A year and a half into my malt journey I gave it a 95. I remember liking it better than Macallan 25 that I had open at the time...

about one year ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@OdysseusUnbound Cliff Claven was FOS.

Justin "If I'm elected 2015 will be the last election with FPTP" Trudeau lied.

If you're dumb enough to believe what you're saying you're FOS.

If you think the public is dumb enough to believe you, that's probably lying.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Alexsweden
Alexsweden commented

"the shackles of age-statements", that's a good one!

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@Nozinan If that's the case, I'm standing my my argument; they're lying.

@Alexsweden I'm just repeating what the fine marketing folks are putting out there.

about one year ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@Nozinan I'm guessing that 10 year old Bladnoch is from the Armstrong years and no longer available. I still think the Springbank 10, in the non-peated, readily available category, is the best 10 year old available today.

about one year ago 3Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@Nozinan Justin has been more than a little economical with the truth when it comes to environmental issues, too. That's why we are getting a twinned Kinder Morgan pipeline to the coast and an increase in tanker traffic through Vancouver harbour from 30 per year to in excess of 400 per year. The southern resident Orca population will be decimated and shoreline erosion will increase. This is the sort of thing that drives me to drink (expensive single malt Scotch).

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@BlueNote I knew you'd stay away from politics and bring it back to whisky.... stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye

Is Springbank 10 unpeated? I would have thought it was similar to the 12 CS except younger and 46%. I thought most springboks have a little peat.

about one year ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@BlueNote And yes, it's the Armstrong stuff. I need to get you to taste some of it sometime. I may have lost 2 of the 11 YO in the Florida hurricane, but most of the Armstrong legacy is here with me.

about one year ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@Nozinan Oh Yes, I'm in for the Bladnoch. I've never had it in any of its iterations. Re the Springbank 10, I barely detect peat in there, but, I agree, there is some. But I don't consider it an intentionally peated whisky.

about one year ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@Nozinan I think you were prescient in putting a good stock of the Armstrong era output in the bunker.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@Nozinan It's very difficult to stay away from politics these days mainly because of the quality of the current crop of politicians...worldwide. There is the ongoing situation in Britain, the surreal goings on in the US, and I don't even want to think about the situation in Burma (Myanmar) these days and the mind boggling revelation of the true colours of one of the world's, and my, former heroes. We absolutely must rescind her honorary Canadian citizenship. She has revealed herself to be as two faced as all of her ilk. "Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely." And the UN? Useless, as usual. Thankfully, there will always be whisky to help us forget. For me a dram of Arran 14 and a dram of Uigeadail tonight. Sorry to be a downer my friend, but we live in depressing times.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@BlueNote No need to be sorry... I was in Hamilton tonight for the final NDP leader's forum. As someone who is hoping to again in 2019 I have a keen interest in who wins.

The forum actually influenced my vote. I will be modifying my rank order. I hope to convince my wife and my mother to do the same.

But this is a whisky forum so..... All of the candidates have been invoking the memory of Jack Layton, and from what I understand (based on an interview with the venerated elder statesman of the party Ed Broadbent), he did enjoy the occasional Scotch.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@Nozinan Is Jagmeet Singh still considered the front runner?

about one year ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@BlueNote Hard to say. I've heard differing views. But the bottom line is there are three candidates under whom I would be pleased to run, including him.

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@Nozinan At the risk of prolonging a political conversation and not talking enough about whisky, I have to say I was leaning Charlie Angus, but I'm kind of keen on Jagmeet as well. Oh, and I still love Springbank. There, whisky comment included.

about one year ago 0

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

Even though I'm against politics on these boards, I do still prefer to know that the heck the subject of the conversation is. :)

@BlueNote , whom are you talking about when you refer to the "true colours of heroes" and "her honorary Canadian citizenship"?

about one year ago 0

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

So @Georgy , was this whisky something close to a single-cask Springbank 10? It looks like the same age & ABV, but the cask heritage must be different because the standard 10 is a blend of sherry & bourbon casks, right? And on top of that, this one you had was also toasted in some unusual way?

Regardless, it sounds fantastic. I'd be all over that like a fat kid on a cupcake.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Georgy
Georgy commented

@MadSingleMalt No idea. It doesn't state it on the label, so I guess it's still a mix of different casks, but a more careful and delicious selection )

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@BlueNote I know, disappointing

@OdysseusUnbound - two very solid choices, as is Guy.

I think I will have to pick a dram to celebrate with depending on who wins. Any suggestions? Probably should be a Canadian whisky.

I should probably let @paddockjudge pick the one for the Northern Ontario candidate, @Robert99 pick the one for the Quebec candidate, and I'll pick one for the GTA candidate.

As for hell freezing over if Niki wins, since she's from Manitoba, I might as well go out and buy Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye because I like it as much as I like her, and it would be as disastrous to my taste buds as she would be to my party.

I think that's solid whisky linkage.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@Nozinan, A Canadian whisky it should be!

Legacy, as in the whisky from Wiser's is my suggestion to celebrate the legacy of the people's party. Douglas, Broadbent, Layton and now ANGUS.

about one year ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@paddockjudge Oh oh, there I'd better hope he doesn't win on the first ballot 'cause I don't have any legacy.

If he's on the last ballot I'll have to go out and buy a bottle.

If I don't hear from @Robert99 I'll probably go with Union 52 as he supports labour and hopes to unite Quebec progressives with the rest of Canada. I'll wash it down with a beer from Unibrou.

Since Jagmeet is carrying a message of "Love and Courage" and promising to fill the party coffers, I'll have to open a bottle of FC "Heart of Gold".

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@Nozinan, you could replicate Legacy by performing the blending exercise...2:1 Highwood Ninety 20 YO to Lot No 40 and add a drop of Amrut SC....you probably have a sample of Lot 40 somewhere in your newly reorganized whisky cabinet.

about one year ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@paddockjudge I have at least 1 sample of Lot 40...the one I liked better. Enough for one dram of Legacy.

But I don't have Amrut SC - I take my Amrut ORALLY (PO), not subcutaneously (SC).

I could open a bottle of the CS (probably would need to replace it in Calgary) to make the blend. I like the idea of bringing things together, just as Charlie is trying to bring the party together.

Glad to see that like Charlie, @paddockjudge has "got my back"!

about one year ago 0

@Alexsweden
Alexsweden commented

Now where is rigomorole when the topic is politics and whisky both! ;)
My understanding is that springbank is definitely peated albeit lightly so.

about one year ago 0

@casualtorture
casualtorture commented

At least Canadian politics don't have as many global implications if a bad president is elected.

about one year ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@casualtorture you're right, especially as we don't elect a president.

So I guess, technically, if a bad president is elected, who leads Canada does actually become more important globally. Too bad our PM is best at selfies and not much else...

about one year ago 0

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