Sometimes we ask ourselves “how the hell is it possible that we keep our samples closed for so long?” – we have them in the cabinet, here in the sample room at Whiskyfacile Mansion: they look at us, we look at them, then we look at each other, and in the end it turns out to be a mexican stand-off in which no one is brave enough to shoot. Sometimes a bullet hits the spot though and a new review comes out: how the hell is it possible that this Springbank 17 Sherry Wood (fresh and refill sherry casks) stayed in the cabinet for more than six months? As we were playing burraco in three people, we’re forced to get together against this sample, that we need to empty and kill.
N: it starts quite closed and dirty: you get the mineral notes (wet earth) of a discreet peat, without smoke. This side, combined with some distant sherry, gives shape to an austere and pleasant profile, between wood, dried plums, carobs, something vaguely rusty… Water opens it up, with stewed fruit, red apples; cigar boxes; some ‘bitter’ notes like tonic water or citrus (quite a lot: orange jam, red oranges and orange peel when the fruit is much more than ripe). Very good, very Springbank.
P: expectations confirmed. All the notes we found on the nose are back, it appears a bit more sherried but “in the Springbank way”: so the taste explosion is everything but a crowd-pleaser, yet it’s happily dark and austere. Dark chocolate and red fruits, of course, but almost put on a side; citrus, orange again; carobs, some hazelnuts, even some salted caramel.
F: long and intense, it closes on stewed plums, burnt wood and a coastal, salted note.
A great example of how Springbank uses sherry casks: not to cover the spirit, but to enhance it in a mutual dance. If you’re looking for austerity and warmth, a wet shelter under the flood, maybe this is your dram. 90/100: when Campbeltown wants, it doesn’t disappoint.
Recommended soundtrack: Sólstafir – Fjara.