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This young Springbank matured on a Madeira cask, meaning that it previously held the fortified wine of the Portugese island of the same name in the Atlantic, just off the west coast of Marocco. To be absolutely clear, this is NOT a finish. Frank McHardy says: ‘We don’t do finishes, we mature!’ No chill filtration of colouring took place.
The nose is grainy and sweet. I get some caramelized oranges, Demerara sugar, broth (remember OXO?) and tobacco. But it is also very dusty with hints of wet cardboard (not offensive, in this case). Some stewed fruits, after a few minutes. And a subtle trace of smoke. Very nice nose, in fact.
It is pretty oily and spicy on the palate. Smoke is the first thing I detect, before the sweet fruits kick in. Orangettes in dark chocolate, stewed apricots. It becomes very sweet, before revealing a salty twist.
The long finish starts off sweet, picks up salt along the way, to expire gently on oak and smoke.
What a pleasant surprise, this whisky. It was launched in January 2009 and hence still available. Around 70 EUR.