Dram data: Distillery: Springbank
Bottler: hand bottled
Age: 19 years
Casks: Recharred Sherry #606
unchillfiltered; uncoloured Whiskybase link
To mentally prepare for the Springbank festival in May, which I’ll attend, I think it’s time I tasted a “wee toon dram” again. How about this 19 yo from last year’s festival? Let’s take a look – and a sniff and taste!
The nose has a lot of power! wow! it’s a re-charred cask (hogshead?), so there’s no sherry left, this is all Springbank distillate and even more wood! The cask spices are immediately there up front – I’m guessing European oak! Cough lozenges, liquorice, cloves, allspice, gentian and a hint of wormwood. The typical Springbank smoke is there, but it really has to fight through the spices, you could easily miss it! The base is made up of burnt toffee, caramel, a whiff of old cigar box and the freshness of illicit cherry distillate with loads of cracked cherry stones in the mash. An aromatic powerhouse, not for the faint at heart! Continue reading →
When on Islay one of the must-do tours is the warehouse tasting at Lagavulin, especially if Iain “Pinkie” McArthur is hosting it. This year will mark his 45th year in the whisky industry and during that time he’s probably forgotten more about whisky than some of us will ever learn in a lifetime. He’s fun, engaging and famous for baptising people with Lagavulin when sloshing it around after pouring from the casks. But this article is not about the warehouse experience – it’s about the whisky we (my two brothers and I) got to taste in the summer of 2014. I was the designated driver so I decanted most of what I was served into sample bottles and tasted them later on.
10yo “Baby Lagavulin” from an ex-Sherry cask (Hogshead?) Colour: red copper Nose: Young, a bit harsh and spirity, peat smoke, hints of dried fruits in the background. With water: Sweeter, less peaty, still young-ish in style Palate: Alcoholic, strong, some new make still to be detected? Bonfire smoke. With water: Less intensity, still young and metallic, more sweetness and fruits in the background Finish: Coating, sweet, phenolic, lingering for some time, not overly complex Verdict: Very young, really “baby” Lagavulin – too young to “die”. Score: 79 Continue reading →