Blind Tasting #6: Springbank 14 Years Old Bourbon Wood (2017)
During the Blind Tasting Competition, every once in a while it just clicks. Yesterday was such a day, and it led to a maximum score of 100 points. From the first sniff out of the sample bottle, I was convinced I knew what I was nosing and tasting.
To me it smelled like, and tasted like Springbank. It is one of the few distilleries left with a very distinctive style, in large part thanks to their way of doing stuff. Old-fashioned in every which way. In theory, that makes it a fairly easy whisky to recognize in a blind tasting.
But even though I was 99,9 percent convinced I was drinking Springbank, I still had to figure out which one exactly. I could tell it was bourbon matured, not too old, and that it contained roughly 55 percent of alcohol. So my mind immediately wandered towards the Springbank 14 Years Old Bourbon Wood that was released earlier this.
Here’s what it turned out to be:
Springbank 14 Years Old Bourbon Wood (55,8%, OB, 2017)
Nose: Some vanilla sweetness and yellow fruit (ripe banana, peach), but also gentle peat and brine. Plenty of wet rocks and some ozone, accompanied by straw and burlap.
Taste: Oily, tasty, and just pretty brilliant stuff. Gentle peat and whispers of brine. A tad salty. Also fruity notes of oranges, peach and lime zest, as well as vibrant pink grapefruit. Great balance.
Finish: Lingering, gentle whispers of peat. Fruits. Long.
Just a wonderful, incredible whisky. Such a complexity on the palate, with a fruitiness I haven’t often encountered yet in a Springbank. My favourite so far of this edition of the Blind Tasting Competition.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.