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Springbank 12 yo ‘Cask Strength’ #8 (2014, OB, 54,3%)

This morning, as you read our irresistible words, we are in Campbeltown and we are sniffing the city’s coastal air, the barley scents from Springbank’s malting floor, the penetrating smell of peat smoke rising from the kiln, and soon we’ll be eating the usual bad fish and chips. Life is hard, isn’t it? To give you the false illusion that you’re with us, instead of at the office, today we review the eighth batch of Springbank’s 12-year-old, cask strength, matured mostly in sherry casks; it’s a 2014 release, so keep in mind that the aesthetics of the labels have changed since this year.

N: very powerful and intense, it starts immediately with a strong leather side, bordering on sulphur; then there are all the ‘dirty’ notes of Springbank, and therefore a damp cellar, even a little bit of mould; something pyric, reminiscent of firecrackers or matches, gunpowder; and how can we leave out the distinct salty note? Then, lots of sherry: juicy red fruit, cherries, blackberries…

P: the attack is on salted licorice, then the maritime side grows in intensity: salty, coastal, reminding of seaweed and fish. Salted chocolate, still licorice roots. Then mold returns, wet wood grows (have you ever walked through the mountain forests in the rain?). It still closes with sweetness, still made of red fruit, cherries, peaches in syrup.

F: long, indeed endless; smoke, red fruit, salt, spices…

Excellent, very bold and powerful in every way: it is not a whisky for the faint of heart, given the impressive intensity and the overall ‘difficulty’ of the profile, as dirty and mangy as only Campbeltown malts can be. 88/100, sorry, we’re going back to the distillery.

Recommended soundtrack: Pennywise – Bro Hymn.

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