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I decided to wait with this bottling (longer than usual, i guess, for most). But upon tasting it now through the spring and summer i must say, at least i maid myself sure i was ready. For the reasons you shall see.
Nose: Apples&Apple peels, with ornage and lemon rind. Some coastal, salty and tangy malt makes a bold entry with a whiff of smoke and peat. Some salted mango, coco and cardamom tea round of the nose.
Palate: The coastal, tangy malt makes a bold&juicy entry with some smoky peat. The peat is very discreet (this is not a peaty dram, there is just a hint of it). As a sidenote to the peat, this is a perfect dram for somebody in his 2nd or 3rd year as a whisky taster with a preference for Highland Park. This could even be a good step up from your Highland Park 12, although i would advise to wait a bit. Albeit the two drams have more than one thing in common.
The smoky coastal malt character then leaves to set the scene for some of the mango we witnessed on the nose, but almost like salted mango with some bitter dark chocolate. Then some coco with a bold malt note hanging on through the whole developement and finish. The malt defines the malt (heey!) because this is a very tangy malt, or in other words very rich in its taste and texture The malt takes on a medium thick form which doesn't glide over the palate but slowly creeps over, it's a thick but juicy malt, the quality most certainly makes it's presence felt through this impression on the form&palate.
The salty tangy malt comes back to round of with some oak and black pepper (alongside a heat rush, due to circumstance) and after a while when you think the finish has had it's say, a mint note makes a final encore. Pepper-mint then Spear-mint.
This malt then is, as most might already know and others already have predicted, not one for beginners. I would say to get the most of it at least 5-10 whiskies have to be sampled to try and get the most out of it. And as word of warning, i really don't say this a snob or elitist, it is simply stating the character of the malt, this one needs your time and attention for you two to get along. It won't simply bulge and deliver a flashy arrival, decent developement and that's it, this is substantial scotch single malt.
If you could pardon a video game analogy: Glenfiddich 15, Glenmorangie 10 and Highland Park 12 is level 2 on the sidescroller, whereas this Springbank 10 is not "level" 2 but "World 2" if u get my drift.
To quote my favorite scot from the movies, and from my favorite movie trilogy ever: "You have taken your first in a larger world"