Last night at the BTC 2017 competition we had Springbank 14 Year Old Bourbon Wood that was bottled last August and it was quite an infuriating experience. I tasted it, took notes, filled in my guess and continued to drink a few more drams with a friend and one of those drams was also this Springbank 14 Bourbon. So I had the same whisky twice in a single night, just a few drams apart but oh what different notes did I take for each of them. Luckily I got points for age and ABV (12yo and 55%) but if I’d had any resemblence between the notes, I could get more points. Bah!
Here are the notes I had for the blind dram:
Nose: A bit floral and green, salty, honey, white pepper, hard candies and pears, dusty, malt and cereals.
Palate: salt, greenery, honey, white pepper and gentle oak spices.
Finish: medium-long length, gentle fruit sweetness, pepper heat.
Would you guess a Springbank whisky based on those notes? Well, I didn’t. And here are the notes I had for the bottle I tasted later:
Springbank 14 Year Old Bourbon Wood (55.8%, €94,99)
Nose: Restrained, tons of sweet honey and the Springbank funk is there right behind the sweetness with dirt, oils, green vines and exhaust fumes. Very dominant cask influence.
Palate: Sweet funk, honey, barley sugar, salt, peat, fumes, fermented honey, hay with a little greenery. Ends with gentle and round oak spices.
Finish: Lingering sweet funk, honey and a touch of greenery with gentle oak spices.
Thoughts: This is a very sweet Springbank. Just barely managed to keep the balance before it becomes too sweet and too cask driven. I don’t think I could go for more than 2 drams due to its sweetness (unlike the also sweet burgundy 12 year old), but if you like you whisky sweet with a bit of funk, it’s a great buy.