Whisky Review: Springbank Local Barley 2009 Aged 9 Years

Style: Fruity, Spicy and Smoky

Nose:
Beautiful sweetness marching with intensity – Barley sugar, honeysuckle, butterscotch and melon taking a hint of green, raw malt. Smoke lacing tightly around the spirit, fizzing spice carrying hay and a good amount of yeast bread. Soft maritime echoes, mineral notes brimming nicely around the aroma.

Palate:
Similar to what the nose has suggested, barley sugar, honeycomb, Limoncello and stewed fruits infused with green smoke. Mineral touches, bonfire ash and dark chocolate. Peppermint spice firing up and power the expression. Orange peels, grapefruit oil dripping on glazed fruits, a satisfyingly rich and oily texture we have here, very nice. Coconut shreds, ground almonds and nutmeg leaving a drier ending tone.

Finish:
The intensity slides into the background but staying till the end, honey and butterscotch taking the herbal side, dark liquorice serve with a quick Jell-O shot. Not bad.

Thoughts:
A robust and delicious offering which encapsulate the essence of Springbank, honeyed fruits and peat smoke reaching a lip-smacking balance with a beautiful, rich and oily texture. Sure, the spirit feels rather young at times, but the distillate is solid enough to craft a wonderful and complete profile. I think this is the final installment of the four Local Barley series, and I should have bought all of them in multiple bottles. Sometimes you snooze, you lose. Splendid whisky.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]


[57.7% | Original Bottling | 2009 Distilled | 2018 Bottled | Limited Edition | 9700 Bottles | Barley Type: Optic | Barley Source: High Cattadale Farm | **-]

-Esmond

Whisky Review: Springbank Aged 12 Years Cask Strength

Style: Fruity and Smoky

Nose:
Splendid mix of pear drops and rhubarb, apricot Danish, dried fruits with just a wee bit of hay smoke. A rather sweet entrance. Just as the sweetness is starting to overload, chili spice steps in and supports the structure. Vanilla pods, five spices and more peat gradually unravel. Stewed fruits and agar agar rounding up silkily at the back.


Palate:
Begins with stewed fruits, a more powerful spice strikes and you can certainly feel the harshness on the palate. Liquorice roots, toffee, pear drops and cream running on a hot steam pipe… Another peppermint surge, followed by chocolate-coated citrus, coconut and barley. Mineral, oak and pencil shavings set in to leave a bitter tail.


Finish:
Chocolate eclairs served with a nice piece of dark chocolate. Sweet pear leaving a lingering note, cornflakes and barley holding up till the end.


Thoughts:
In my book, a 12 years old Springy bottled at 50.3% is hardly a cask strength whisky, nevertheless the expression does carry a certain zing, a mild cask strength I guess? Rough around the edges with the alcohol and oak, but there is a good vibrancy to it. Profile-wise it is a classic Springbank distillate – fruity, smoky and rich, a decent everyday dram.

☆ [Recommended]


[50.3% | Orifinal Bottling | Regular Release | circa 2013 | Non Colouring | Non Chill Filtered | *]

-Esmond

Dram Review: The Macallan Edition No. 5

[48.5%・NAS・Bottled in 2019・ Official Bottling・Limited Release]

Nose:

Aromas of raw walnuts, oily toffee fudge and milky vanilla custard churned together whilst there being a growing sense of a dusty leather briefcase. With time the toasted oak dominates with just a hint of varnish.

Palate & Finish:

Just a wee hint of savoury soy note to start and is soon diluted with flashes of dried dates. Steadies out with a sweet syrupy delivery that turns just a little bit creamy with sprinkles of blackcurrant compote.

Slightly peppery with the wood showing a slightly bitter side in the form of burnt caramel in the finish to balance out the sweetness of the earlier, still a touch of fig syrup in the background.

Thoughts:

The purple was what the audience was mostly talking about at the launch. I suppose some will bring up the Gran Reserva; though judging from the crowd at the launch, most would agree that this serves as a fairly easy drop to get and like, especially for those who likes a fair bit of sweetness in their drams.

This collaboration with Pantone is a stunning marketing campaign. I am genuinely curious to see what’s to come next.

P.S. Thank you Trish for the invite to a stunning launch.

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Wemyss Malts Bowmore Nostalgic 70’s Flavour

[57.4%・22 Years Old・Distilled in 1995・Bottled in 2018・ Wemyss Malts Bottling for KUO, F.A.T, Aqua Vitae & Spirits Salon・Single Cask Release of 210 Bottles]

Nose:

A bacon smokiness cuts through the sweet soapy aromas, hint of burnt plastic to go with the barbecue smoke.

Palate & Finish:

Vibrantly juicy with the tropical white fruits with just a brute oomph of smoke to prop up the backbone, certainly has this rawness to it.

The spiciness carries forward to the finish, eases out with some pepper and barbecued pineapples.

Thoughts:

For me this is a fun modern Bowmore that has character, I’m not too sure how it resembles 70s expressions but I suppose these days we are all nostalgic of the good old days, simpler times of fun IB Bowmore.

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas