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A rich golden color greets the eye as you pour this scotch into your glass. The cask strength creates some lovely "pearls" (bubbles) around the edges of your glass that cling and live for up to a minute or two before winking out. For some reason, these pearls last a tad longer than in other cask strength offerings, and they also appear a tad brighter than usual even for a high ABV dram.
Inhale decadent scents of clover, dates, honey, caramel, light campfire smoke, pan-fried plantain, brine, and cedar. Take a sip and experience marzipan essences, brown sugar, sea salt, crème brulee, aged leather, espresso, a touch of oak, and rich toasted malt.
In some ways, this scotch reminds me of a Brora I tasted last year. Certain rough edges blend delightfully with "farmy," coastal notes. Be prepared for a long, warm finish that lingers gracefully without a harsh alcohol presence. The flavors last and last with a delightfully oily consistency as the palate echoes the palate, in addition to slightly more salt and a kiss of oak.
Like Highland Park's 18 Year, this Springbank is a "dram for all seasons." It has a hint of smoke, a light sherry influence, and the hand crafted farmy/coastal touches of old 12-15 year old Broras and Clynelishes.