Thanks to /u/gregbenson314 for the sample via /r/ScotchSwap’s Secret Santa campaign on reddit.
I make no secret of my love for just about anything that runs off of the stills of Springbank distillery. So you can imagine how excited I was to receive this along with some other amazing drams in my mailbox.
I spend quite a lot of time on reddit and in particular on the various whisky subs. One of them us /r/ScotchSwap, where people from all over the world swap both samples and full bottles of whisky from their collections, to help each other try things we otherwise would never be able to. Around December time we do a Secret Santa thing where everyone gets the name of another group member and sends them a gift of their choosing. I was really lucky and got some really awesome stuff showing that my santa had really done his homework.
This sample says that it’s from a bottle from the late 90’s or early 2000’s. I always like to try older bottlings and see how things change, but this is especially exciting as I very recently had a bottle of the current Springbank 15 and it’s one of my favourite whiskies.
Aged 15 years. 46%ABV. No colourant added and non-chill filtered.
Nose: Very rich wood notes, what one expects from an older whisky. Also a really strong sherry funk. Wet leaves. Prunes. Light wood smoke. Brown glue. Chocolate with orange peel. Blood orange. Nutty wood. Toffee. Creme brulee. Slight wood spices. Hint of butane.
Palate: Slightly bitter wood and citrus. Very oily and waxy texture. Wood spice is more pronounced now. Dark fruits. Strong nutty sherry influence. Slight dirty sulphury taste. Soft leather. Salty toffee. Cream of wheat with brown sugar.
Finish: Long. Dark cherries. Dry wood. Dry orange peel. Leather. Slight smokiness.
Would I buy this: Yes
Would I order this in a bar: Yes
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes
This was a real treat. It still had quite a bit in common with the current version but I felt the sherry influence on this quite a bit more. The wood notes were also richer. Really a lovely dram.