“SPRINGBANK IN SPRINGBANK”
1911 – 2011
IN MEMORY OF WILLY HARDY
A TASTING OF SEVEN SPRINGBANK MALTS
SPRINGBANK –18 (2009), 18 (2010), 21, 25, 32, 40 SIGNATORY
LONGROW – 18
Legend has it that a Scotsman from Cambeltown, named Willy Hardy, a tarry-fingered lad wanting to escape persecution from the law, after a misunderstanding involving whisky ownership, is responsible for the community name of Springbank in Alberta, Canada. Rumors told of Willy having a severe case of Kleptomania, and when it got bad he would be forced to take something for it. Eluding the Scottish law, Willy immigrated to Canada in 1911. After learning to speak English he settled aboot the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, between Banff and Calgary. Lonely for his hometown, he decided to name his homestead in Canada ‘Springbank’ after the distillery that gave him so much pleasure and the motivation to move here.
Springbank has flourished since that time and is now a thriving community in which I call home. To honor the legend of Willy we decided to have a range tasting of Springbank whiskies and celebrate this most important of anniversaries.
SPRINGBANK 18 YEAR OLD OB 46% ABV. Release 2009
NOSE: Cotton candy, fruit, cream and mild smoke.
TASTE: Candied apples, cream.
FINISH: Medium to long.
ASSESSMENT: This has been a much anticipated malt, which is to lead us back to the 21year old. Please Springbank never run out of 21 ever again…or least in my life time. Rated # 6 of six tasted
SPRINGBANK 18 YEAR OLD OB 46% ABV. Release 2010
NOSE: Citrus lemon & lime. More floral than the first but not as much smoke.
TASTE: Bubblegum, spice and some liquorice.
FINISH: Medium. This finish seems to fade quite quickly.
ASSESSMENT: Not as good as the 2009 release (Don’t make us beat up Peter Currie when next he is in town). Need to kick it up for the road back to the 21 year old. Rated # 5 of six tasted.
SPRINGBANK 21 YEAR OLD OB 46% ABV. Limited to 2,400 Bottles.
NOSE: Brown sugar, all fruits, cinnamon, milk chocolate. Tender smoke.
TASTE: Citrus, mangos, cloves and other spices.
FINISH: Rich and warming, long, lip smacking.
ASSESSMENT: The royal flush of single malts. Very complex and balanced. This is the reason I drink single malts and not that cane juice. Rated #1 of six tasted.
SPRINGBANK 25 YEAR OLD OB 46% ABV.
NOSE: Citrus fruits, vanilla and more than a little oaky.
TASTE: Nutmeg and raisins.
FINISH: Medium to long and fades nicely.
ASSESSMENT: Bit of a let down after the 21, not as complex but is still a great malt. Rated # 4 of six tasted.
SPRINGBANK 32 YEAR OLD OB 46% ABV.
NOSE: Very sharp varnish note dominates the nose. After working this one we find coconut, lavender.
TASTE: Sweet, whip cream, fruits and little oily.
FINISH: Medium to long, lightly warming.
ASSESSMENT: The taste in this case is better than the nose but is still a very exceptional malt. Rated #3 of six tasted.
SPRINGBANK (Signatory) 40 YEAR OLD 54.4% ABV. 1969 – 2009,
Single Sherry butt, cask # 263 356 Bottles.
NOSE: Exotic fruits, coconut, spice and all things nice.
TASTE: Burnt sugar, fruit explosion.
FINISH: Rich and warm. Long and lingering.
ASSESSMENT: You really can find all the fruits in this malt. Age has mellowed and enriched this whisky nicely. Rating #2 of six tasted.
SPRINGBANK – LONGROW 18 YEAR OLD OB 46% ABV. 2008 Release Limited to 2,280 Bottles
NOSE: Infused smoke, apples and pears, caramel.
TASTE: Pepper, raisins, cigar humidor, liquorice.
FINISH: Long and zesty.
ASSESSMENT: Not rating this one with the other Springbanks as this needs to be rated against other Longrow or other peated malts. Is another great product from the stills of Springbank. Great to drink now, can’t wait until this hits 21 years as well.
“All of life is a dispute over taste and tasting” (Nietzsche)