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After not keeping my word to OlJas about posting it straight after my Batch 5 review i finally post this review.
Nose: Dense wood smoke (bark, heavy), a smoked-meat note and motor oil (2 stroke) greets you in a powerful manner. Pineapple sweet&sourness comes through with quince, grapefruit and coconut milk (with that sweet ripe sourness they provide). Barbecue honey glaze, cloves and mushrooms cap off the nosing notes, already lots of action from the glass.
Palate: Peking duck (glazed duck dish) and fudgy (not as much as #5). A strong "fusty" note of blue cheese comes at you. This note stays with me a while before black pepper and sherry stones arrive.
Finish: The black pepper clings on with light, pungent peat and orange marmalade. Some bitter pungent wood smoke at the tail end.
Well a punch of a whisky this was! As a peat monster metaphor this is more Laphroaig than Lagavulin (as this springbank isn't that much of a peaty whisky). I read BARutledge's review before and agree with many things and it seems the score will be close (can't remember what he gave now). The batch 9 is yet again a hugely flavorsome and well crafted Springbank, i love the unusual flavors you extract from these whiskies.
As for the comparison the batch 9 beats out the batch 5 on the arrival and draws on the nose and development. But, the batch 5 has the better finish and balance so this gets one mark less, but it's very close. The DNA is there, 4 batches between, and this is comforting that Springbank has shown consistency in a time where it is probably the whisky enthusiasts greatest luxury. This is just my opinion and it wouldn't surprise me if someone else would prefer batch #9, all i can say is they are close, they are like rival brothers. Very similar (or same) DNA/genes but very different character. The fifth batch is the calmer older brother while the ninth is the feisty, energetic younger brother. Both are excellent, and my guess is batch #10 is close to these two.