This will be my first Campbeltown scotch! I am acting as a mule for this bottle and it belongs to @thewalkingdad as it is hard to come by in his neck of the woods. He allowed me to try it as a "logistics fee." The bottling date is July 20, 2018. There is also something written as 18/332. Not sure what that means.
Fresh bottle, so I have allowed the glass to sit for 30min. Sample is neat first then with water added in a Glencairn.
Nose: The smell fills the room sitting in the glass! Upon further examination...very maritime. Soy sauce, fish, wet wooden docks. Salty and tangy. Some citrus. Then sauteed mushroom and green onion served with baked oysters. Similar to Talisker in ways but more "deep."
Nose w/water: The same maritime notes but less salt and more sweetness. I prefer the nose neat.
Palate: The ocean is on fire. Salty, briney, and fishy up front then transitions to salty fruit and vanilla. Hot too.
Palate w/water: Mmmmm...water settles the heat down and really opens up the palate. Same notes but easier to pinpoint and enjoy. Perhaps a tad sweeter and less salty with water. Nice. The palate is better with water.
Finish: Tangy, citrus and brine. Lingers well. Water changes nothing here.
Overall: I think this benefits from just a few drops of water to open up the palate. If Talisker distills the top of the sea, then Springbank distills the ocean floor. At $94USD+tax, I would pick up Talisker 10 or Laphroig 10CS at $70USD instead of this. But it is enjoyable and I'm glad to have finally tried a Campbeltown.
Neat: 85 Water added: 86
@casualtorture 18/332 references to November 28th, 2018. This is usually, the bottling date. From my experience, Springbank 12 Cask Strength tend to get better with time as the fill level in the bottle drops. I wonder if the mania for the 12 year old cask strength has also, been coupled with a drop in it's quality. There was a time not to long ago when the bottles would linger on the store shelves for about a year. Now, it is very difficult to obtain in Canada and gone in days.
@fiddich1980 Interesting. Then what is the 20.7.18 for then? I assumed that was the bottling date of July 20th. This is fairly availible here from what I can tell.
Yes this seems like it would benefit from some air, unfortunately this bottle will be handed off to the owner for next week. I'm glad I got to try it before I got one myself.