Malt Mongers Israel Springbank Evening

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The 100 Proof, there was a lot going on so this was the only picture I got from the night.

This month our whisky club met up at the awesome Whiskey Bar & Museum in Tel Aviv. This month our theme was Springbank. The disitllery has a lot of fans in the club and rightly so, they make consistently good whiskies, and are always playing around with cask types and barley sources, leading to some very interesting expressions.

This time we got to try the following expressions:

  • 100 Proof: This is a mid-2000’s bottling of a high ABV, 10 year old. This was discontinued a few years ago but bottles were still available here and there until recently. Note that it’s 100 (imperial) proof so 57%ABV, not cask strength.
  • 12-year-old Calvados Wood: Now then and Springbank experiment with different types of casting and release the results as part of their wood range. This particular one spent 6 years in first fill bourbon casks before spending another 6 years in Calvados (apple brandy) casks, quite an unusual cask type for whisky.
  • 13-year-old Green: Springbank’s Green expressions are a series of releases of whisky made using organic barley. This one is from 2015 and was matured in sherry casks.
  • 1998 Malts of Scotland Botting: A 17-year-old independent bottling of Springbank matured in a sherry hogshead.

Springbank 100 Proof

Aged 10 years. 57%ABV. No colourant added and non-chill filtered. 

Nose: Fruit leather. Light pepper. Floral. Lemon creams. Dirty fruity oil. Peanut butter. Sage. Rosemary.

Palate: Leather, salt. Dry wood. Juicy red fruits. Light earth.

Finish: Long. Bitter wood. Leather. Copper. Herbal oils.

Would I buy this: Yes

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: N/A

This was a real great way to start the evening off. This one really shows off what Springbank is, dirty, fruity and good. It packs a good punch thanks to the high ABV too. Pity that it’s discontinued.


Springbank 13 Green

Aged 13 years. 46%ABV. Matured in sherry casks. No colourant added and non-chillfiltered.

Nose: Motor oil. Peanut oil. New leather. Match heads. Camphor. Dry grass. Anise. Slightly earthy.

Palate: Rich wood. Herbal. Bitter chocolate. Milk chocolate. Slightly thin mouthfeel. Hints of smoke.

Finish: Medium-long. Bitter wood. Butterscotch. Radish. Charcoal.

Would I buy this: Yes

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 3/5

This was an interesting one. I was a tad apprehensive at first because I’d seen very mixed opinions about previous Green releases, but I liked it. It was a little different, but in a good way, the sherry wasn’t very pronounced and worked well with the dirty, oily Springbank profile.


Springbank 12 Calvados Wood

Aged 12 years. 52.7%ABV. Matured in Bourbon and Calvados casks. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength.

Nose: Lots of fruits. Quite bourbony. Slight hints of woody fruits. Creme brulee. Light caramel toffee. Pepper. Slightly farmy.

Palate: Bitter wood. Very bitter fruit peels. Slight note of ozone. Salty honey.

Finish: Medium long. Bitter. Peanut brittle. Dry fruit tannins.

Would I buy this: No

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: N/A

I was excited to try this one as I’d recently attended a Calvados tasting with some friends, so I knew what it tastes like and thought it would be interesting to taste its effect on whisky. I was a little disappointed as I mainly felt the influence of the bourbon casks here more than the Calvados. It was still a good dram, quite unique, but it lacked a bit of the Springbank magic.


Springbank 1998 Malts of Scotland

Aged 17 years. 49.2%ABV. Matured in a sherry hogshead. No colourant added. non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength from cask number MoS15038.

Nose: Raisins. Cinnamon. Salt. Canned Pineapple. Caramel. Mango peel.

Palate: Wet rocks in the sun. Cinnamon. Lemon meringue.

Finish: Long. Dry. Salt. Salty toffee. Wood chips. Banana peel.

Would I buy this: No

Would I order this in a bar: No

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 1/5

I didn’t like this one much. It didn’t taste much like a Springbank at all. I also had a hard time picking up on the sherry influence, so probably refill cask. It wasn’t bad whisky per se, just not on the level expected from a Springbank, not just because it was missing the notes in Springbank I like, but also because it felt like it lacked a bit of complexity.


As always I had a great time irrespective of the whisky, the club has a great group of guys and it’s always fun to meet up with them. I love Springbank and was really happy to try some of these expressions, especially considering that none of them were run-of-the-mill.

My favourite was the 100 proof, it was just so classically Springbank, followed by the 13 green, which was also quite Springbanky, but also interestingly different. The Calvados wood was enjoyable but the overpowering bourbon influence was a little disappointing. The only one I didn’t really enjoy was the Malts of Scotland bottling, which as I said was a bit lacking in both Springbank profile and complexity.

 

 

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