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Fino Cask 264 Distilled in 1996
This review is from a bottle that is approximately half full and has been opened for about a year and a half. Based off of prior experience with Springbank whiskies, I have noticed that they get better and better with time in the bottle. Related to that, I find it best to be patient with each dram as well because they have a tendency to bloom and get a lot more interesting as I struggle to resist it's beckoning call. Thankfullly, the nose on each of their offerings are always delightfully multifaceted enough to keep me at bay.
Color: Radiant red amber
Nose: Butterscotch/caramel salt water taffy, brown sugar, raisins, dried figs, fuji apples, duck sauce, milk chocolate, a lingering backdrop of a red berry element. I could nose this dram all night, be highly content, and probably pick out a bit more aromas.
Palate: Creamy, fruit pudding, himalayan pink salt, orange zest, slight lemon, that characteristic Springbank "funk", savory umami.
Finish: LONG, salty, and dry...milk chocolate, freshly cracked black pepper, yeast, musty wet hay, tobacco, a certain je ne sais quoi right in the middle of the finish that completely enthralls me, and a very subtle smoke that is noticeable after everything else eventually fades away.
This is one of my, if not the, favorite single malt I have ever tasted. It is extremely unique while still retaining that Springbank signature that I have come to adore over the years. I regret not purchasing a second bottle when I had the chance. I mourn the day that I pour the final dram from this bottle.
Edit: I forgot to mention that I didn't add water due to previous experimentation leading me to the conclusion that I prefer it without. YMMV