After the 2014 edition, Springbank doubles and insists on the concept of 100% organic barley. Product innovation? Respect for mother earth? Marketing? And what do we care? In Italy we would say “we don’t give a dry fig”, which surprisingly will not be among the descriptors of this review… Apart from the cereal, it is important to know that this limited bottling, of which 9 thousand bottles have been produced, comes from a vatting of only ex-sherry barrels.
N: the first impact is delicious, although very different from the 12-year-old Green. It closely resembles the more mature Springbanks in the core range. The typical dirty note is fully present, with also a pinch of bacon, overripe orange, dull matches, gunpowder, shoe polish and rubber. Immediately close together are wet notes of brine, green olives and starch. It smells like proper blocks of damp earth, for God’s sake! The sweetness is sherried, but discrete: you can recognize apples, plums and cooked raisins, but also an apple pie, marron glacé and rhum & chocolate pralines. A feast for gourmets (but on a diet), complemented by suggestions of black pepper and cinnamon. In this beautifully complex nose, however, the ‘dirty’ side seems to prevail over the fruit. And after a while it gets saltier and saltier!
P: a good body, very chewable and very intense. What an explosion, at 46%! The ingredients are roughly those we found on the nose but the proportions are very different. The ‘dirty’ part is limited here to overripe blood orange, to hints of wax, earth and peat and to strong peppery notes, while the sweetness becomes deeper, still on apple delicacies; then sultanas, chocolate and burnt sugar, brown. Pipe tobacco. In the meantime, with time, a note of smoke becomes evident. And let’s not forget a very nice Springbank maltiness. Toasted peanuts?
F: long and complex: cooked apples, black pepper, orange peel and pipe tobacco. A sense of laundry, earth and more wax.
In our imagination Springbank is a timeless old champion, who doesn’t care about the ravages of time and doesn’t chase after the fashion of the moment, pretending a false youthfulness. Even when it places on the market a product that blatantly winks at the organic new-wave and at the suggestion of a return to tradition in the most exquisitely agricultural part of whisky production. In fact, the substance is never lacking, and even this limited edition confirms this perception. Compared to its twin brother, this Green, with its rather naked and sweet but refined palate, is less extreme, less austere and it’s perhaps destined to be even more enjoyed and popular, thanks to those exquisite notes of sweet burnt cakes that pamper the palate. For us it is 89/100.
Recommended soundtrack: Emiliana Torrini – Me and Armini.