Reviewing the utterly wonderful Glenfarclas 29yo I came across some notes and hints of coconut. Coconut is something I always found a lot of in old Springbanks, so Springbank stuck a bit in the back of mind, when I was tasting the Glenfarclas. Very conveniently, I have an open bottle of Springbank 18yo on my lectern, so lets see if this Springbank still has a hint of the old coconut up its sleeve. If I’m not mistaken, this Springbank is made from 80% Sherry casks and just 20% Bourbon. Lets hope the Springbank coconut is not (only) from the Bourbon casks.
Nose: Ferns and leafy. Garden bonfire (smoldering grass). Lots of forest floor aroma’s. Partly creamy. Sowing machine oil and slightly smoky. Sweet cold black tea. Give it some time and this actually is a beautiful nose. Red fruit juice and sweet red apples, but also some Golden Delicious, combined with hot metal. The smell of dead, old steam equipment. When given some more time to breathe some nice yellow fruits come through. Dried apricots combined with mint. Very fruity Sherry, almost a sweet white Sherry. It also reminds me a bit of Sauternes and sweet Moscato. Fabulous balance. Wonderful batch of Springbank 18yo. However, no coconut in the nose.
Taste: Sweet, oily and nutty. Fruity as well. Strange enough when the fruity part comes the sweetness hops into the back seat, so even though the fruity bit is highly aromatic, it isn’t sweet. So not a lot of fructose nor thick fruit, but a thin kind of yellow fruit. Slightly perfumy as well. Well balanced and everything stays in its place. Not a lot of development over time. Nice smoky note too and the sowing machine oil is present as well, but alas no coconut.
This is great stuff, but I still think this is not a Whisky for everybody. It’s not a lovely, fruity and soft Whisky. This is more a Whisky with muscles. A masculine dram with oil and smoke. Although almost three times distilled, it is miles apart from the typical triple distilled grassy and citrussy Lowlanders. Artisan Whisky from a lovely distillery.