Springbank 15 Year Old | 46% abc (92 Proof), $91.99/bottle (Here)
Color/Appearance: Amber -2, I like this look, no colorant, no chill-filtering, the sherry casks have done their magic coloring this naturally. To me the bottle is so simple and mythic. Springbank is one of the only distilleries that do all their own floor maltings. Single family owned for generations this is what it’s all about.
Nose: Light honey, peat, grape tannins and oak. Salty sea spray, caramel toffee and raisins. This is so compact with flavor yet light smelling. Loads of complexity and balance. Effortless. The peat is there but speaking softly, integrated. Springbank seems to extract such a great flavor from their maltings. Light floral components buoy up the peat and frame it so nicely. This is a great nose.
Palate: Gentle entry with light clover honey being overtaken with a deep rich peat. Light wafts of smoke swirl through the palate. Shimmering, the oak, peat, and malt fight it out in your mouth in a gentle battle. Nice peppery spicy dryness as it progresses but then a kiss of sherried sweetness balances that out towards the end. This is some smooth stuff but with so much character. Young enough to be vibrant and alive but old enough to be complex.
Finish: Extinguished campfire while I am sucking on a salted caramel. This whisky has so many nuances and flavors all in balance. As it slowly fades out they each get one last turn. The overall quality of this dram is so obvious to my mouth.
Overall: Oh Springbank! I think your coveted status and high prices are well deserved. Buying a Springbank really helps support an awesome distillery doing things the way they should be done. The quality of this product cannot be overstated. Such a unique and historic malt. Living up to the legend is no easy task, but this classy whisky seems to do it effortlessly. Well done.
**** Follow Up: As I moved through this bottle I find myself liking it more and more. It’s down to the last dram or so and I wonder if I ranked it too low.