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Springbank 18 Year Old

Average score from 8 reviews and 9 ratings 89

Springbank 18 Year Old

Product details

  • Brand: Springbank
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 46.0%
  • Age: 18 year old

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@RianC
Springbank 18 Year Old

Yet another sample sent to me by @wierdo (3/6). I have to say that out of the six mouth-watering mini-bottles I received this was definitely the one I was looking forward to opening the most (mmm . . . well, maybe a toss-up between this and the Ledaig 13 ;)

This review is with a couple of drops of water to about a 25ml pour.

Nose - A lemon and pineapple infused malty base with a lot of overripe fruits – a bit like a tropical fruit stall at the end of a hot day. Salty with a little waft of peat. Gingery with some spice and toffee emerging.

Taste - Full and lots going on, with more spice, liquorice, tropical fruits again and that pleasing oily texture one finds with Springbanks. Not as much ‘funk’ as I’d been expecting to be honest.

Finish – Salty, more sour than overripe fruits and some soft caramel. Some tannins present also but very soft and measured. Long

A very nice whisky that is balanced, complex and quirky in true Sprinbank style. But, truth be told, this hasn’t wowed me like I thought it would. I think the 10 and 15 have some sherry in the mix and this, according to Master of Malt anyway, is solely bourbon matured. Perhaps it lacks something that the sherry brings to the table as I feel that, while this is unquestionably high quality whisky, it seems to lack something that I’ve found in other Springbanks. Still very good though.

Another fantastic review. As I read I can imagine those overripe tropical fruits - very evocative. Interesting you mention the lack of funk - I'm surprised just how much my bottle of 10 YO has. Maybe like peat it diminishes with longer maturation? I was intrigued you mention it being aged solely in ex-bourbon. I tried to have a look around and found mixed reports from bourbon only (MOM) to 60% sherry + 40% bourbon so who knows. I'd love to try more of the Springbank range sometime. Thanks

I think I agree with the general opinions here. I only ever had the 18 once at a bar, but I saw no reason to ever spurge on it over the 10 or 12 CS.

W

My first bottle of Springbank 18.

Bottle has been open for 2 months and I've had 5 or 6 drams from it.

I've never known a whisky change so much after the bottle was opened as this one. The first dram was very rich and fruity. The flavour reference I made a mental note of was black forest gateau. I left it a week, went back to it and it was completely different. Most of the fruity notes had gone and it was much drier and savoury. It's remained fairly consistent in profile since.

Nose

Gingerbread, white wine vinegar, mint leaves, white pepper a certain oakiness.

Palate

Barley sugar, bananabread, golden grahams cereal, hot cross buns, buttered toast. As it develops it becomes salty.

Finish is long, drying and a little sour, with some peat.

So. Another great Springbank. Clearly made by people who know what they are doing. Clearly not for the beginner. Much to admire about it. But I don't love it. I think I prefer the power of the 12 year old and the 15 which is a simpler whisky for spending a little time in sherry casks (I said simpler, I didn't say simple, Springbank don't make simple whisky). It's great. But for the price I can have a bottle each of the 10 and 15 and I think that is the better option.

Nice review @Wierdo. I'd definitely want to try this but after trying the 15 and reading reviews of the 18 (even Serge seems to think the younger Springbanks are where it's at - generally) I'll probably stick with the 10 and 12 CS. Maybe one to get a sample of but, as you say, they change so much that you would only really be getting a small snap shot.

@Wierdo Where is the funky side of Springbank? The 12 CS is my favorite (it may sound strange, but I find that the12 offers the best balance) but I am curious about the 18.

@Nemesis101

This is a distillery that really grew on me last year, with Springbank 15 being my favourite release from them so far.

First try of the 18yo then...

Nose: Quite light and grassy, but with lots of brine and a strong touch of peat. Sweet fruits underly it. Blackcurrant in particular and slightly reminiscent of boiled sweets. It doesn't mention on the bottle but I'm pretty certain this has some sherry influence.

The palate is very briney and fruity. Saltiness and ripe berries really compete for dominance but neither wins. Peatiness apparent later on as it descends into a very dry and satisfying finish.

For me this edges out the 15. The sherry influence and fruitiness really add a delicious extra layer to an already great whisky. Highly recommended.

@MaltActivist

The Springbank is part of my ongoing fascination with Campbeltown whiskies. For no particular reason I am just fascinated by this region. It's like having a love affair with someone difficult. You are crushed when they fail you but their triumphs fill you with delight.

While this 18 year old does not exactly set the night on fire it is a beautiful whisky with a unique earthy quality.

Lightly peated with a touch of smoke the nose is dominated by wild red berries sprinkled with salt. The sherry influence is warm and earthy giving it a peculiar dusty quality. And finally there is that musky aftershave. I wouldn't mind splashing this one on after a morning shave.

Quite a strong oily mouthfeel - confident without overpowering. The earthy sherry is back and it brings with it the berries. Then some figs and raisins with a sprinkle of all-spice.

The finish is oily too with that familiar earthiness and musky overtones. Wait. Scratch that. I get Coca Cola. I swear.

Another subtly unique gem from C'town.

@Nemesis101 thanks for taking the time out to read my review. I'm glad I could tip this expression for you. This one also oxidizes rather well - becomes more crisp as time goes one. Definite one to have in your cabinet!

BTW what's your favorite C'town whisky?

My favourite is probably the Springbank 15. It just had a bit of everything that I like without being complicated and fancy.

Others I've tried include Longrow Burgundy cask which was very interesting and complex but perhaps overly done. Recently tried Kilkerran WIP which was great for the price, but needs a few more years in the cask.

I did try a Signatory Glen Scotia many years ago but was not impressed with it. It might be a distillery to give another chance soon.

@talexander

During my last trip to Scotland in May, we had the great pleasure of touring the Springbank distillery in Campbeltown. We got a chance to quickly meet Director of Production Frank McHardy, and had a fantastic tour, culminating in a tasting in the rooms at the back of Cadenhead's retail store nearby. I spent a little bit too much money there........

.....but I didn't buy this bottle there - got it at the ol' overpriced LCBO. The 18 Year Old is released annually, in a limited run of 9000 bottles. It is 80% matured in sherry casks and 20% in bourbon barrels and, as with all Springbanks, is non-coloured and non-chill-filtered.

The colour is a deep coppery gold. On the nose, rum raisin, chocolate hazelnut and strawberries. Malty and spicy. A hint of mint. Very complex, a lot going on and all these different notes work together very well. Water brings out a very subtle, light balsamic quality. Very interesting.

On the palate, briny, with vanilla and white pepper. Very Springbank, and with berries and cream. Buttery and delicious. Water seriously ups the spicy heat, bringing cayenne pepper! Wow!

The finish is quite gentle at first, then developing into cinnamon and nutmeg - but near the end becomes a little too bitter. That is the only off note in what is otherwise one of the great Springbanks. Jim Murray scores this a 90.5, and it won Best Campbeltown Single Mat at the 2012 World Whiskies Awards. I cannot recommend highly enough a trip to Campbeltown, where you can visit a distillery that is a time machine to a bygone era of whisky-making; purchase some rare bottlings at Cadenhead's; and finish with many impossible-to-find drams at the Ardshiel Hotel.

Great review, chock full of useful info! I'm a big Springbank fan. I plan on visiting a few of Scotland's infamous scotch tours next summer. Is there an ideal time to visit? I suppose I can look up some of the whisky fests online to figure that out . . . .

As for the 18, how does the one you have compare to the D&T version? Ever try the D&T 18?

I'm on the fence about shelling out the requisite clams for a D&T 18. I've tasted it at Highland Stillhouse near Portland, but I've never tasted the second regular 18. It's 92 proof, as opposed to 112 proof in the D&T.

Not sure if more strength equals more character. It often does, but not always. I never like to sacrifice balance and charm for mere heat. I get what you're saying about the bitter end note. It's been a while since I tasted the D&T 18. That's the only version in a bar in Portland area or I would try the other. No bars stock it.

Gotta love Mick, self proclaimed "Publican" of the Stillhouse (owner). He goes for it! Without his place (which ain't exactly a bargain when it comes to prices, but hey it's got over 500 whiskies and a frickin warehouse full of scotch nearby to keep bottles in stock!), my knowledge of good scotch would be miles behind where I am now, and of course I"ve still got a long way to go before I reach your level of knowledge. Again, great review, T!

Thanks @rigmorole! We went to Scotland mid-May and the weather was gorgeous - sunny, warm but cooling down in the evenings. Last year I was in Speyside in early May and it was much cooler. So mid-May or June might be good times to go?

I've never tried the DT bottling - but I'd be very curious to do a side-by-side comparison with the regular 18. We are limited to what is available in Ontario so not many independent bottlings come our way...and I was lucky to find this bottle here. At present, it is totally sold out in Ontario.

I just went on the Highland Stillhouse website - wow! Insane list...you are very lucky to have access to that!!

@PMessinger

Warm thick steady fruit arrival develops a pleasant ashy wooden middle followed by long slow fruit and vegetable finish.

I have just recently tried both Springbank 15 and 18 year olds. I really liked the 15 year old but the 18 year old didn't live up to my expectations. The 18 year was very light with little body to it whereas the 15 year old was a nice sherry influence and a bit syrupy with smoke. Maybe I got a bad bottle of the 18 year old which can happen but I doubt I would try it again.

@gibbsjim thanks for your comment. Sorry to here that your experience was not a good one. It really does show how broad and diverse the whisky industry is as well as how different individual taste are. Hope you continue to enjoy your whisky journey. :)

n

From a sample

Nose: A lightly smoky vein winds its way through the profile, along with waxy bits of dried fruit. Papaya, mango, pineapple, raisin, and little flecks of coconut. There's also a petrol and spirity quality to it. Not deep or potent, but a lot of fun here.

Palate: Very similar to the nose, but the smoke is more apparent. The fruits are more yellow than orange. Something like plastic, and probably from the petrol that was in the nose.

Finish: Long and very pleasant. Smooth all the way through, and virtually all the same notes. As usual, this one's a winner for sure. Notes are fairly short for it because it's consistent from start to finish. Great all-around.

@mattberg

This really is an exceptional offering and one that I've been meaning to obtain for a while now. This is the latest bottling 2010 of the 18 yo. I don't usually add water to my whisky but this needs it ( in my opinion) as neat is just a bit to dense and oily. On the nose I'm finding an unusual blend of sea spray almost champagne like evervesence, butterscotch and white pepper. The arrival is super-light, a truffle oil coating of the palate moving onto a light sherry and sea-salt stage and finishing with a fresh ginger and long tingling white pepper finish that sparkles like fine champagne.

The signature sea salt freshness is perfectly complimented with a delicate soft sherry lightness and exotic pepper finish.

it is Jay.... and after trying several Whiskies in this range this last couple of months, I would say that this is now my fave.... many other I've tried that are more expensive or have won awards don't compare...

I misspelt effervescence, just realized..

I'm ordering a bottle. Found it at a good discount, so my flexible arm is twisted 720deg

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