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This dram is from a 5cl taster given by the Springbank society after a £50 membership fee is paid - along with ... a snazzy box... free distillery tours... t-shirt... member card (10% off at all cadenhead affiliated shops) and access to member only bottlings of springbank. Firstly I’d like to go a little off tangent and give my views on paid membership for distilleries. Membership for most distilleries (The Macallan, glenfiddich, arran, balvenie, Islay (offer a Islay wide membership) aberlour, highland park etc.) is free ... so firstly I’d like to congratulage Springbank for being different. Their lifetime membership fee allows them to offer high quality exclusive products and events at affordable prices and makes acquiring very sought after bottlings easier for those of us who can’t afford higher prices or days off to be first of hundreds of thousands to click the order button for limited bottlings. From those with free membership I see more and more bottlings being sold by ballot (macallan genesis - highland park Saltire) and I disagree with this approach .. mostly because they will mostly go to those who can cheat the system with hundreds of entries. I love whisky... and I hate missing out because someone who intends to sell every bottle they buy has a system in place to acquire bottles. I WANT TO TASTE THIS STUFF DAMMIT !! In conclusion (sorry I’m ranting) I believe charging a small fee for the chance to buy exclusive and limited bottles of interesting whisky means that us common folk who really enjoy the craft can get our hands on more of the stuff that would normally end up in auctions.
Ok rant over... now for the whisky. Springbank sent me this 5cl taster with their welcome pack and like most good whiskys it needed some time in the glass... immediate impressions were of soap, butter and vanilla... but ten minutes later... wow this nose developed.
Nose Buttery sweet, like a freshly baked croissant. White chocolate, full fat cream, prunes and a wonderful waft of freshly cut oak. Reminds me of my carpentry days, it’s not oak I smell but the scent produced as the wood is cut.
Palate Shows youth, no age statement here and with the increased abv it is very obvious. It’s rough and fiery... but that’s how I like my whisky so you’ll find no complaints here. At a guess I’d say this is mostly 8yo.. the alcohol may be rough but it is vibrant and carries itself so well.
Vanilla pods, dark treacle, a dash of cinnamon, plenty of orange and a quick squeeze of freshly cut lime. Followed up by a spicier woody note on the palate.
Finish Treacle tart with a buttery pastry and a soft creamy treacle filling. Almonds, cinnamon, bitter cherry. Lime is present to round off the finish and it holds. The finish is long, buttery and well balanced. It leaves your mouth watering for what feels like an age.
In conclusion. I know this is a whisky most will never try but I think this review is relevant in spite of that. Springbank continue to do things the right way and refuse to sacrifice quality even if it means going against the grain and doing things a little differently.