Whisky Review: Springbank Vintage 1998 “PSI I”

Style: Dark fruits and Intense

Nose:

Red cherries, sugar plums and black currants stack together and form a round and rich sweetness. All carried by turbo-charged spirit spice. A touch of hay stack peat presses on a layer of subtle sweetness – lime tart, pumpkin slices and aloe vera. Search deeper there is some dry mineral notes lying under. Lean sweetness slowly opens up to more dark fruits – caramelized figs, quince and sultanas with a touch of black liquorice. Getting earthy towards the end.

Palate:

Red fruits and dark fruits join forces and run rampant on the palate. Heavy, powerful notes of dark plums, cherries, figs, raisins and cranberries decompressing and are all thrown into the mix. The intensity is slightly levitated by a light brush of herbal black liquorice and sweet honeycomb. Waxy texture, peat smoke diffusing out in between the fruity layers. A discrete off note, salted caramel croissant dropping low. Dark cacao transformed into sweet chocolate sauce with a glimpse of malt towards the end.

Finish:

Tone mellowing down, fishing out assorted fruits from a chocolate hotpot – strawberries, pears, apples, orange and peach all simmering in it. Yum yum.

Thoughts:

An intense, maverick style of spirit which fires on all cylinders on the red and dark fruits spectrum, very condensed and compact delivery. Even only at 53.3%, it definitely feels way more than that. On the label it reads this is small casks matured and finished in sherry cask(s?). Also I am getting some Port vibe amid the chunky Oloroso coat – maybe I am just imagining things, but so I heard. Maybe that explains why the flavours are behaving in a slightly unusual way. An ultra-heavy dark fruit bomb, robust but also delicious.

☆ [Recommended] 

[53.3% • 1998 Distilled • 2009 Bottled • Original Bottling • Cask Strength • Bottle Number: 612 • Cask Number: 08/2131&2 • Non Chill Filtered • Non Coloured • Aged 11 Years]

-Esmond