SMWS 27.107 Springbank 16yo | 56.0% | Campbeltown
, Scotland founded: 1828 | active
For more detailed mapping of the distilleries in the area from our whisky map page, use this link
Meet #57 | 22/11/14 | Hosted by Phil
This meet was all about unusual casks, where the whisky was in a single cask for its entire lifetime. So, anything but a bourbon barrel / hogshead or a sherry butt. But no 'finishes' either... it was quite a challenge, and quite an expedition.
It smells amazing, like amazing candles. It's really oily ("yeah!") and not unlike the smell of raw sheep's wool, with cheese ("yeah!"), play dough and bananas. It's the 'best' of Scotland: like Porty (Portobello beach) or some classy Buckie (Buckfast tonic wine), with Marsala wine moving things south somewhat. It's definitely rubbery but also really sweet (brown sugar), creamy (cream soda, butter) and peppery (er.. pepper). "What do cymbals smell like?" ("cymbolic?" - it's no longer clear how well this joke went down..). In fact, it smells of cymbal cleaner - the drummers in the audience then had a set-to about whether you should use this or not. We also had two tasters by proxy, high up in the northern wilds. They smelled a spring meadow, melon, papaya and parmesan - perhaps some mad pizza was on the go?
It all starts with a slight sherberty fizz, which immediately dissipates, then a dry, citric woody hit takes hold. It's rich and beefy, perhaps even duck a l'orange. Dry vanilla pods, a lot of independence chat (zzz) and remnants of a distant grain whisky. Some stereotypical sherry flavours (raisins, caramel) and a ton of rubbery richness. It was remarked to be "really excellent" and missing members were presumed to love this whisky in absence. Our northern proxy-tasters came up with flour, synthetic fruit, a balloon condom (some synergy here.. oh dear) and milk bottle sweets. There's something quite disturbing about the combo of milk bottle sweets and condoms.. hmmm.
"It's easy to smash through a camembert."
Finish & Comments
It was either poor note-taking or more likely the distraction of a looonnngggg independence debate, but we accrued very little for the finish. It's also possible we were just discussing how much we loved this whisky, as it was almost unanimously loved. We managed to agree it was a long finish, with some liquorice and just generally "awesome". The wild northern duo suggested two finishes of medium. They were more pre-occupied about the fact they were "just about to eat Bambi" than providing any lingering tastes, and fair enough.
We tasted this blind, with everyone trying to guess its age and cost. The average age guessed was 16.4 (15-18) and average cost was £67.88 (£55-£85). That's almost perfect on both fronts, so high fives all round!
We've always scored out of 10 in our group (see number in red box, below), with scores regularly given across that spectrum. The value out of 100 below is adjusted to the scale most commonly used for whisky reviews, to allow for better comparison.
93 / 100
Detailed scores (out of 10)
Ali G: 7.8
Tasting Game Points (out of 6)
Ali G: 4
[ for other thoughts on whisky and more in-depth activities of the group, check out whisky on meiotic