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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Springbank Gone Wild: Springbank 15 year old 2002 Cadenhead

You want some sulfur-ass whisky? Here's some sulfur-ass whisky.

Columbus Scotch Night's hopes were sky high when Nathan returned from Scotland with this bottle of sherry cask Springbank. Then we opened it. Then we drank it. Then we regretted everything. We've joked about it becoming a hazing whisky for noobs, as in "If it's your first night, you have to fight". Now I shall expose it to the world.

Distillery: Springbank
Brand: Springbank
Owner: Springbank Distillers Ltd.
Region: Campbeltown, on Well Close, just off of Longrow
Bottler: Cadenhead
Age: 15 years (December 6, 2002 - 2018)
Maturation: first fill sherry butt
Alcohol by Volume: 57.9%abv
Chillfiltered? No
Colorant Added? No
(Thank you for the sample, Columbus Scotch Night?)

Nose - Rubber balls, rubber bands and a big sulfuric fart. Also lemons, brine and raspberry candy.
Palate - Bitter as hell. Rotten eggs and rubber. Some Pedro Ximenez-type sweetness.
Finish - Tannins, bitter woodiness, rotten eggs, Brussels sprouts and a cloying sugariness.

DILUTED TO ~46%abv, or 1½ tsp of water per 30mL whisky
Nose - Ammonia, eggs, cheap perfume and strawberry popsicles.
Palate - Very sweet. Cheesy, peppery and bitter. Pharty sulphur.
Finish - Bitter oak and sulfur.

The whisky didn't deserve paragraphs.

Drinking this foul, embarrassing, deeply broken whisky, I pondered the fate of the rest of the cask. One can only hope they dumped it and called it a loss. But does any company do that now? It would be difficult to blend out this level of horror.

It also makes one wonder how any distillery (let alone one with consistently high-quality products) allows a whisky to get this awful? This isn't just the-worst-kind-of-sulfur issue. The tannins and bitterness from the oak are also vile. Putting any portion of this cask out for sale has to have been an act of a disgruntled employee? Otherwise, why?

Availability - hopefully nil
Pricing - too much
Rating - 44

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