Next Friday and Saturday in Milan there will be the Alcoliche Alchimie Day: Monica Taddei will celebrate the first year of life of her multifaceted venue, the former Cadenhead’s Whisky Bar, and for the occasion she will offer all her products (wines, grappa, rum… and well, whisky! Cadenhead’s, Springbank, Longrow, Arran, Tullibardine…) at a very reasonable price… But that’s not enough: on Saturday the importer Beija Flor will be there, presenting the new products in its portfolio, including the official bottlings by Glenglassaugh, Tomatin, the blended The Antiquary, the batch 8 of single cask by GlenDronach… Actually, lots of stuff! We’ll be there on Saturday afternoon, if you’d like to have a chat behind a couple of well-filled glasses. In order to get ready for the event, let’s taste today a 12-year-old Springbank ‘Calvados Wood’, aged for six years in refill-bourbon barrels and other six in Calvados barrels, with a light straw colour.
N: the characteristic notes of the distillery resist any wood: also here the ‘dirty’ tips (like eggs, let’s say) resist, together with a hint of peat (fumigation). The citrusy note is also typical (here acute and in a ‘perfumed’ version: cedar, bergamot); even if the absolute protagonist is a big pear, almost creamy, we could say pear puree. The apples of which Calvados is made returns here (apple pulp)… Then, there is no lack of bourbon clichés (almond and vanilla). Light wood spice.
P: it starts with a surprise: the smokiness on the palate is really very intense, certainly more than on the nose. At first a creamy sweetness of pear peeps out, but without dilating, immediately recalled to order by a severely astringent oakiness. Even the citrus fruit is sugar-free and lemony (lemon kernel).
F: lemon peel in the ashtray and pear. Tasted blind, this finish might suggest a light, not too smoky Islay malt…
We feared a long and boorish wine-finish, and instead – as stated – it could almost taste like an austere and slightly peaty Islay whisky matured in bourbon barrels. A pleasant surprise, which definitely leaves us satisfied. Shall we drink it together the day after tomorrow? Meanwhile, our rate is, 85/100.
Recommended soundtrack: Willis Earl Beal – Too dry to cry.