Dram Review: Springbank Aged 50 Years

[40.5%・Bottled in 2001・50 Years Old・Official Bottling・Limited Release of 580 Bottles]

Nose:

It is hard to believe how clean the nose fares for its age, crisp pears and mangoes, lightly floral with a nice brush of malt and just a hint of grilled vegetables.

Palate & Finish:

Succulent with dried fruits, the delivery is on the grassy side and is reserved in the most tender of ways.

A wonderful but fleeting dryness with a soothing touch of minerals to close.

Thoughts:

A dram that eases in its nuances, comforting and pure even at an advanced age but perhaps shows a touch of reluctance, an imperfection to some..

☆ ☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Springbank 100% Pure Malt 21 Years Old (Pear Shape)

[43.0%・Bottled Circa 1970s・21 Years Old・Official Bottling Imported by Maison Du Whisky・Limited Release]

Nose:

Old school pear sweets with a mellow grassy note. Subtle sense of malt with a brush of sea salt. Seaweed and herbs surfacing in time and opened up to minerals, red cherry and orange slices.

Palate & Finish:

A clean grassy delivery, brightened up by the barley sugar with a wee citrus edge from the tropical fruits, a pinch of pepper draws the malt back.

Mellow and mild but wonderfully fruity in a subtle manner and the tail fades out in a puff of cigarette smoke.

Thoughts:

A minimalistic dram that really opens up in the glass. It is stylistically quite clean as one would expect from the 50s distillate but with a pleasant surprise that is the touch of smoke.

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Springbank Rundlets & Kilderkins

[49.4%・10 Years Old・Distilled in 2001・ Bottled in 2012・Official Bottling・Limited Release of 9,000 Bottles]

Nose:

Surprisingly ashy with a cowshed undertone, followed by smooth layers of lemon jelly and limes, soothed with icing sugar and honey.

Palate & Finish:

A silky delivery of green mangoes and orange flavoured jelly, a juicy affair really.

Slightly rubbery and ashy in the finish but overall it’s still rather gentle.

Thoughts:

A relatively affordable proposition of a modern, young Springbank that fares beyond its age in flavours and fineness.

☆ [Recommended]

Thank you Lester for the dram.

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Springbank Premium Reserve

[46.0%・NAS・Bottled Circa 1980s・ Official Bottling・Limited Release]

Nose:

Pretty much the crème de la crème of creamy Sherry, a Christmas jazz carol if you will pardon my pun.

Palate & Finish:

Bold and substantial mouthfeel of dark fruits, the acidity is rather prominent and seasoned with cinnamon with a sticky viscosity to the dram.

A prolonged state of home made strawberry jam that’s slightly on the acidic side in the finish.

Thoughts:

I believe this bottle came inside a saxophone packaging made exclusively for the Japanese market.

And the Saxplayer is sexy indeed (pun intended)..

☆ ☆ [Highly Recommended]

Thank you Aaron.

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Springbank 100% Pure Malt (Bottled Circa Late 1960s – Early 1970s)

[43.0%・N/A・Bottled Circa Late 1960s – Early 1970s・ Official Bottling・Limited Release]

Nose:

Pickled pears, light honey from the grassy spirit. Linseed and chimichurri but also some overripe bananas and peaches, and a mildly floral afterthought.

Palate & Finish:

A tad on the dry side with the malt doing most of the talking, with some dates and sticky strawberries in the background.

Elongating tail of oak and minerals, as well as mint leaves and cocoa beans.

Thoughts:

This could be the 5 Years Old or the 8 Years Old; either way for such a young whisky to accentuate the malt like that, you would imagine apart from them doing things differently back then, there might have been some bottle ageing as well..

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Springbank Aged 21 Years (Bottled Circa 1990s)

[46.0%・21 Years Old・Bottled Circa 1990s・ Official Bottling・Limited Release]

Nose:

Aged elegance of crystallised sherry sugar, sultana and dried leather.

Palate & Finish:

A marvellous mouthfeel of old school Sherry-led umami, sweet raisins balanced with a perfect acidity from the figs as the dark chocolate conveys a seductive bitterness.

Dried leather with more dark chocolate in a prolonged finish.

Thoughts:

A quality Sherry cask from the get go and it’s just immensely gratifying, the sort of soulful nightcap you have at a dimly lit bar with vinyl playing..

☆ ☆ [Highly Recommended]

Thank you Darren for the dram.

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Springbank Aged 32 Years

[46.0%・32 Years Old・Distilled in 1971・Bottled in 2004・ Official Bottling・Limited Release of 2,400 Bottles]

Nose:

Immaculate malt, creamed honey with all that beeswax just being extremely attractive with complementary notes of soft sandalwood, breakfast cereal and hints of ginger flowers and chalk.

Palate & Finish:

Lemon jam and passion fruit syrup atop this chewy cereal base, the grassy spirit is infused with fine, graceful infusion of wood, while notes of banana custard, golden syrup and honey comb continue to ooze out and fuse with the candle wax.

Creamy fruits and a buttery touch, the grassiness and barley softness of the spirit still manage to linger with a mineral sweetness.

Thoughts:

A nose that would launch a thousand ships.

The wholesomeness of the Springbank spirit with all the regional goodness beautifully oak seasoned.

I wouldn’t say this about just any distillery but I could make a case that this dram right here is an exemplary testament that Springbank distillate are more likely to weather through the test of time and become something extraordinary.

☆☆☆ [Most Recommended]

Thank you for the memories Ginger..

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Springbank Ten Years Old (Bottled Circa Late 1970s)

[57.0%・10 Years Old・Bottled Circa Late 1970s・Official Bottling・Limited Release]

Nose:

Masculine and full of pineapples, honey, vanilla nougat, mango cubes and a festive tropical vibe in general. Ginger flowers and fresh grassiness give a refreshing touch amidst the sweetness as the malt fares full and hearty as expected.

Palate & Finish:

A magnificent burst of rewarding fruits, vibrant and hitting that perfect point of sweetness and crispness. The oiliness of the spirit adds to how layered the delivery is, with a gorgeous dose of creamy mangoes.

The intense concentration of sweet ripe fruits continues to blossom as the malt chicly draws things to a close.

Thoughts:

Close to ☆ ☆ ☆, this should have been celebrated as one of the legendary vintage Springbank bottlings that went to Italy..

☆ ☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Lombard Jewels of Scotland Springbank Aged 30 Years

[46.0%・30 Years Old・Lombard Bottling・ Limited Release]

Nose:

Feels dated but carries the surprisingly endearing notes of wood and mothballs, with soft fruits, pepper and other dried spices. The malt feels a bit green as well.

Palate & Finish:

The dram is really driven by soft fruits, banana jam with some other fruity enzymes followed by a clean layer of white oak.

Slightly drying towards the finish, with hints of white peaches.

Thoughts:

A rather courteous Springbank from 1960s if I were not mistaken, I find it rather lovely actually but it does feel bottle aged and a tad too opened, if you know what I mean..

☆ [Recommended]

Thank you Derek for the dram, it’s much appreciated..

-Nicholas

Whisky Review: Hazelburn Aged 14 Years Oloroso Cask Matured

Style: Sweet and Smoky

Nose:
Immediate impact of abundant sherry – Demerara sugar, plums and red cherries running rampant here. Menthol, a hint of hay, while balsamic vinegar lightly poured onto purple liquorice. Black currant gummies, syrupy fruits giving a good amount of “fatness” which is cleverly sealed by sharp spice. Mineral notes and subtle rock salt seasoning the sherry-dominated aroma.

Palate:
Dunnage sherry leading the line, all sorts of bountiful red and dark fruits shaded with muskiness – umami, soy sauce, deep and savoury. Man, the sherry casks must be good. Coal-roasted seaweed, grass mixed with hay and clay. Liquorice, cherry soda and decorated peppermint leaves. Syrupy fruits emerge again and finish with more red cherries.

Finish:
Ringing the red fruits ladder, probably a touch of brine and mineral rocks. Plums and cherries with a little bit of dustiness.

Thoughts:
Usually I am quite wary of triple-distilled spirit because it can be, what’s the word for it, sterile. But this Hazelburn is a pleasant surprise for me, probably because there is plenty sherry to power the expression, while the fruits and peat smoke (another surprise for me, because I assumed all Hazelburn are unpeated) are also sufficient at the core, making it a pretty rich and enjoyable dram.

☆ [Recommended]

[49.3% | Original Bottling | 2004 Distilled | 2019 Bottled | 9900 Bottles | Matured in Fresh Oloroso Cask | *]