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Monday, March 2, 2020

Springbank 15 year old 2003 Rum Cask Matured

It's been two whole months since I've posted something about Springbank and I'm sure you're all feeling the lack, so here's a week of Springbank to refill your thrill.

Today I'm reviewing the recently released small batch of cask strength rum-barreled 15yo Springbank. This bottling was hot stuff in Facebook group and secondary market circles, orbits separate from those in which the majority of whisky fans travel. So I don't know how excited everyone else is or was about the release, or how many people actually heard of it.

The bottle:

The deets:

Thank you to Secret Agent Man for the sample!

The nose starts off with honeydew and mint leaves, with hints of flower blossoms and wood smoke in the background. With time, it picks up notes of gummi bears and old oily Highland malt whisky. The dirtier, earthier palate has more of that note that I'll call Clynelish-ish. It's also very zesty, with tangy limes and tart apples. A slight bready note and a little bit of light rum appear after a while. It has a well-balanced finish with moderate bitterness and sweetness, along with the tart limes and apples and just a hint of metal.

DILUTED TO ~46%abv, or ⅔ tsp of water per 30mL whisky
Now bolder and funkier, the nose shows more oils and metals; something darkly organic as well (more Worthy Park than Hampden if I'm going to be an asshole about it). Then cardamom, toasted oak and honey butter. The simplified palate has bits of salt, sugar, bitter herbs, earth and tart citrus. It finishes with citrus, herbal bitterness and mild sweetness.

That these barrels remained mellow may be the key to the quality of this Springbank. It's crisp and almost refreshing, while also having a darker side that keeps it from sliding into Glenmorangie territory. Had I the standard 15yo, I would have certainly compared the two because I think I might like this one better. It's not the best thing coming from Campbeltown, as it lacks the complexity that even the standard 10 displays, but it's a very good drinker. Just beware of those prices!

Availability - Europe and the US
Pricing - $150-$200
Rating - 86

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