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Springbank 10 Year Old

Eh... an unusually gifted child?

12 1488

RReview by @RikS

27th Jun 2018

0

  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    88

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As promised (threatened in fact to be more accurate), my humble meandering thoughts over a dram of Springbank 10...

Le couleur -

Freshly cut hay, with a tint of… green!? A tone of gold, ripe wheat waving in the wind. Quite an unusual pantone, yet a lusterous sheen Ok, I was gonna write the whole review in rhyme… … but that’ll take to long. I rescind...

The nose is of freshly cut grass. Honeycomb, in fact beeswax? A whiff of sweet, but not sugary. Hard to pin, quite elusive. Peel of an oven-baked red apple… sweet yet with a sour tang. Maybe it's my lack of experience, but compared to other expressions that are more 'in your face' I really need to close my eyes and concentrate over 3-4 inhalations to be able to pick the nose of this one apart.

The palate. A certain sweetness hits first of all carried through from the nose, but it's not crunchy sugar, or plum, or cake or PX os something that's so easy (for me) to pinpoint. If anything, I'm thinking of air-light caster sugar thrown into the air. It's viscous… not to say oily and thick. Wow, I like this! It invites you to ‘chew’ on it for quite a while, which I'm more than happy to do with this palate. And still, at 46% there's no bite at all, it's just inviting and very round. I could eat this.

The Finish is subtle, yet somehow it lingers on… I think I can perceive a slight taste of metal and minerals, like sucking on a copper 2p coin (not recommended as a general way to pass time). After a while it seems to be transforming into a slightly waxy aftertaste. Hmm... I'm not sure I like that last element. After about 10min of setting down the glass I'm getting a second wave of finish, with wet chewing tobacco. Hey, that was unexpected!

With a drop of water, a clear citrus / fruity component appears in the nose. Maybe even some tangy sourness, like a pomelo. I think I like the nose even more with a drop of water in fact. It's fresh and inviting. On the palate, a drop of water brings out some more powder sugar sweetness on the attack, but it’s not overpowering (I e.g. don't take so well to the sugar-sweetness of Glendronach's younger expressions). The H2O also appears to give it some more alcoholic bite on the attack (which I suppose is rather counter intuitive...? Can lesser alcohol have more bite?). Having added water, I feel it accentuates the waxy element in the finish, almost gives it a drying characteristic… ok, that’s was not so nice. I think I'd like to have my nose and palate with water, but the finish without - thank you, please.

There’s quite a lot to get my head around in this one – I don’t know if one may call a 10 year old ‘complex’, but I have the impression that there's quite a bit to explore in here. Not least do I note that it keeps evolving and rolling on into different guises for quite a bit since a first sip. That's fun! Maybe it's a 'complexity' more reminiscent of a semi-intoxicated dialogue with a teenager full of complicated curiosities and ideas rather than a well traveled alderman of 21 or 30yrs, but who cares - it's still rather enjoyable and inviting.

I bow and politely thank you for encouraging me to get this one. It's a very well invested £41.95 I'd say!

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14 comments

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

Now this here is some quality rambling!

4 months ago 4Who liked this?

RikS commented

@MadSingleMalt haha, well thank you Sir! One tries... One tries...

4 months ago 0

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

Thanks for the review. This one is quite complex, in my opinion, regardless of its age. Its character changes with air exposure as well, but I found it was best within 2-3 months of opening. After that, it got just a bit too sweet. Still very enjoyable. If you get a chance to try the 12 Y/O Cask Strength, do it. I've only had a sample, but I'd love to get my hands on a bottle of that stuff. Incredibly complex.

4 months ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@OdysseusUnbound

Start saving up and be sure to put in your order before December

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@nooch
nooch commented

Springbank 10yo is good, for my money kilkerran 12yo would be my go to entry level Campbeltown dram. I saw one review that described it as lemon smeared coal. Yep. Mmmmmm. And, when I’ve seen it, it was cheaper than the Springbank 10yo.

4 months ago 2Who liked this?

@Hewie
Hewie commented

What a great review - I loved it. Thanks. Certainly a contemplative dram, and yes - I love Kilkerran 12 and the Springbank 12 CS - all quite different from each other. I look forward to your thoughts after a few weeks/months (if it lasts that long).

4 months ago 2Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC commented

Excellent review! Like @OdysseusUnbound I would describe it as complex - certainly for its age. I don't drink many 20+ year old whiskys though so my barometer for comparison may not be as refined as some, but try it next to Glenmorangie . . .

4 months ago 2Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

I love so many things about this whisky, but my favorite part is the bouquet reminiscent of the blooming lavender fields of the Luberon in mid-August.

4 months ago 3Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@MadSingleMalt I’d say it’s more reminiscent of the Valréas lavender fields in early July, but I guess our experiences are different. stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

RikS commented

@nooch I got a bottle of Kilkerran out of curiosity and having seen many good reviews. I've sampled it, but I think I'll leave it for another couple of weeks, and then thought I'd make a comparative with the Springbank 12.

I like the nose and entry of the Kilkerran, but gee it IS salty. I think it was @RianC that made that observation too?

I do wonder if that salty element calms down a bit, cause I'm not entirely sure it sits well with me - but it's a bit too early to tell. Rather than a maritime coarse salt with iodine elements to it, this one strikes me a bit like refined lunch-table salt... Harsh words, I know - so I'll come back to it once in a while and see how/if it evolves.

4 months ago 0

@Hewie
Hewie commented

@RikS interesting how we taste or perceive whisky. I was thinking about this and I spent a while trying to find ANY actual evidence or measurement of salt in whisky. So far I have found zip - not a single piece of scientific evidence of salt actually being present in whisky. Now that doesn't mean we don't taste salt - just as there aren't actually any raisins, figs, honey, herbs, bananas,apples, nuts etc. in the whisky yet we can 'taste' them. I thought about getting out my Kilkerran 12 to refresh my memory but it's a bit early in the morning for me! This is a very interesting and thought provoking article though (and there's even a mention of Springbank / Campbeltown) masterofmalt.com/blog/post/… It'll be interesting to see if it changes for you after it's been open for a while.

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

RikS commented

@Hewie Thank you - that will be my breakfast reading for tomorrow. And yes... I too was wondering "wow, so much salt... where does that... come from!?" It's morning there, but bedtime here - so, to be continued shortly!

4 months ago 2Who liked this?

RikS commented

@Hewie A very interesting read, thank you Hewie. And I guess I can be excused for not being entirely clear on where the 'saltiness' comes from.

Quote from the article: “We don’t find any maritime or salty notes in new make of Springbank, Longrow, Hazelburn or Kilkerran, yet after a few years in oak, in our warehouses, in Campbeltown, there it is. Everyone here knows that the Campbeltown micro-climate gives our whisky its salty tang. We even find differences between dunnage and racking warehouses. Of course we don’t have any science to back this up, just a few years of experience.”

4 months ago 2Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC commented

@Hewie - Great link, thanks! Interesting what it says about Caol Ila, as I think we've discussed that before? Would make sense that any saltiness comes from the peat.

Also like what he says about Islay peat in a general sense and the 'dunnage effect'. Seems to support what I've (generally) experienced and would think is going on. And I never knew Springbank peat was from Speyside . . . very interesting to note.

It also made me very thirsty and wanting some more 'tropical island' Arran laughing That's such a good description . . . Cheers!

4 months ago 2Who liked this?

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