[Review] Springbank - 15 years old 46%

Springbank is one of these names you hear mentioned quite a few time when you start your whisky journey. It is not a name everyone knows like Glenfiddich, Macallan or Laphroaig, but it is one whisky enthusiasts tend to look for and recommend. Springbank is one of three distilleries in Campbeltown, alongside Glen Scotia and Glengyle. Springbank also make three different types of whisky all bottled under different names: Springbank is their slightly peated two-and-a-half times distilled single malt, Longrow is their peated twice distilled single malt and Hazelburn is their non-peated tripled distilled single malt.

I didn't get to try any Springbank for a few years before I decided to purchase a bottle of the 10 years old. Strangely enough, I didn't open this bottle straight away as I had too many already opened and it has actually still been sitting on my shelves unopened since. The reviews I read online were very positive about the 10 but people's favourite seemed to be the 15. So when I came across some 15 a few months ago, I decided to buy a bottle and open it as soon as I got home. I must say, I am glad I did...

The 15 years old is fully aged in ex-Oloroso casks, bottled at 46% with no chill-filtration and no colouring added, this is the real deal!

Nose: Sweet, rich, fruity with some citric notes. 'Dirty sherry', some malt notes, rubber, oranges, caramel and some peat smoke too. What a fantastically interesting and enticing combination, let's dive in!

Palate: Quite chewy with some rich sherry oak, burnt caramel and sweet burnt rubber (sounds disgusting but it really works!) Astringent with tangy fruit and some bitterness wrapped in a cloud of spicy smoke. Quite tannic too but absolutely delicious. I just want more!

Finish: Rather dry and long with sherry oak notes lingering, some sweet tar too with hint of grapefruit bitterness.

With Water: The nose is softer with more fruit and sherry. The palate loses a bit of richness. The bitter/sweet combination is still present but with a little less rubber. The finish is still drying  with sherry oak smoke but less grapefruit.

Overall, what an experience! Why did I not purchase a bottle earlier? Could it have been a little much at the start of my whisky journey? Could you really recommend it to beginners? To be honest, all I care about is that it is a marvelous drop and I will have to start thinking about getting a replacement for this one very soon!


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