Today’s review is the entry level from Springbank distillery, the 10 year old offering that sometimes sneak below the radar as the 12 Year Old Cask Strength batches catch most of the lime lights.
The review was conducted on a bottle that was bottled in September 2016 (with the older label design), although I think the profile didn’t change much with the newer 2017 batches. And in order to make it interesting, I’ll review the 10 year old from 10 years ago (10 and 10, got it?) to see how did it change over the years.
Springbank 10 Year Old (46%, Bottled Sep 2016, £39.90/€37.95)
Nose: Starts with a sweet buffet with honey, vanilla and cereals. Then some Campbeltown magic enters the stage with a very soft funk. Mix of greenery, petrol, hay and pastry, becoming very oily. With time: fruitier, orchard, red fruit and berries and nuttiness, nutmeg and cinnamon.
Palate: Spicy with lots of pepper and it’s dirty with petrol, farmyard notes and again oily, sweet honey and cereals (cheerios). With some time: fruit orchard and nuts.
Finish: Medium length, linger dirtiness, petrol, honey, bittersweet oak soaked in mead.
But before we get to conclusion, let’s check the version that was bottled approximately 10 years ago in the mid 2000s:
Springbank 10 Year Old (46%, Bottled Mid 2000s)
Nose: Oh this is quite different from the recent batches, it’s very farmy and every malty at first. There’s some weak peat smoke (like smelling from far-away), engine oils, honey, manure fertilizer, lemon and tangerines peels. After a while it’s getting dirtier and with added citrus.
Palate: Spicy, dirty sweet peat, wafts of smoke, very malty, sweet honey, grass and oak wood spices.
Finish: Short medium length, sweet peat, farmy, seaweed, dirt and pungent.
Thoughts: The mid 2000s Springbank 10 year old is far different from the profile provided by Springbank distillery in the last few years across their line up and special bottles (perhaps except the last Local Barley), but the 2016 edition, which I assume it very similar to latest 2017 batches (within batch differences) is nothing short of superb. I liked the 12 CS and I also like the 10 year old. A daily whisky which you should have on your shelf/bar.