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Monday, September 3, 2018

Springbank 15 year old 2000 Fresh Rum Cask for The Nectar

This past weekend I had the pleasure of trying two single cask Springbanks — both 15 years old, distilled in 2000 and matured in rum casks — side by side.

Today's Springbank was bottled exclusively for The Nectar in Belgium. It was aged in a "Fresh Rum Cask" (there are lot of types of rum out there) and had an oddly low cask strength of 46.5%abv. So I wasn't sure what to expect.
Distillery: Springbank
Brand: Springbank
Owner: Springbank Distillers Ltd.
Region: Campbeltown, on Well Close, just off of Longrow
Age: 15 years (April 2000 to Sept 2015)
Maturation: "Fresh Rum Cask"
Exclusive to: The Nectar
Limited release: 198 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 46.5%abv
Chillfiltered? No
Colorant Added? No
(sample from My Annoying Opinions. Thanks, MAO!)

Definitely a sugary rum (as opposed to a diesel-y rum) on the nose. Coconut cream, toasted coconut, wood smoke and a grassy note. Smaller notes of cinnamon candy and orange candy. Feels like 75% rum & oak, 25% Springbank. After 30 minutes notes of citrus, fabric and raspberry yogurt sneak out. The rum is subtler in the palate. Decent mouthfeel. Plenty sweet, like coconut ice cream. Chile oil heat. It's the oak that's parks itself in the fore, flaunting sugar and caramel sauce. Later on there's cinnamon, clove cigarettes and black peppercorns. The warm finish summarizes everything that came before: vanilla, caramel, coconut, peppercorns, sugar and clove cigarettes.

Just a little bit of water, since the abv's already low.

DILUTED TO ~43%abv, or 1/2tsp water per 30mL whisky
All the late notes (citrus, fabric, raspberry yogurt) remain in the nose, but nothing else other than coconut cream and mesquite chips. The palate goes syrupy sweet, but also very peppery. Vanilla and coconut. It finishes with sugar and peppercorns. Vanilla and a whiff of smoke.

When I scheduled this tasting, I'd forgotten that I've had a mixed experience with rum cask Springbanks (see here, here and here). Never had one I loved. This is the third one that was underwhelming.

MAO and I have somewhat different takes on this whisky. I found it the sugary rum to be too forward on the nose, and the oak has the same issue on the palate. He found more Springbank in this Springbank than I did. But we do agree that the rum is louder on the nose, and that water weakens the whole thing.

It's not a bad whisky, it's an easy drinking dessert whisky, though I highly encourage you to forgo dilution. It certainly comes for a different cask than Wednesday's whisky.

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - ???
Rating - 81 (neat only, at least 5 points lower when diluted)