A couple of cracking single cask UK releases* which have been hard to pin down. The sherry cask is yet to show at a few places (including TWE I think) but has gone very quickly elsewhere.
[* EDIT: oops – except the 14 year old isn’t single cask, it’s 9,000 bottles and not just UK only]
These two follow the Edinburgh single cask that was rum a rum cask, reviewed here.
Springbank 14 years old, August 2017 bourbon cask, 55.8% A⊕
Nose - Clean and fresh for a 14 year old, it doesn't have that bruising oiliness that can be quite tiring up to 12 in Springbank, and the peat seems very gentle behind lemon and pastry. Slightly medicinal perhaps, and the pastry is a little caught. Fruitier with water, slightly dirtier too.
Body - Bright, much more peat and the onset of the dusty deliciousness of the 18. Quite a lot of lemon sherbet, almost Sichuan peppercorns, a lot less gentle than I was expecting from the nose. Some "Tang" orange powder and a little gunpowder even. Peatier still with water.
Finish - Long and fizzing, a little popping candy and chilli caramel at the end.
I'm sorry to report that this is really good, hope you got one. It's a great age for Springbank, just on the cusp between fire and elegance, a remarkable nose and it's great to try a really cracking bourbon cask as an OB.
Springbank 13 years old, October 2017 fresh sherry butt, 56.1% A⊕+
Nose - Dark but enormous, lots of black fruit with blackcurrant jam, blackberries, instant coffee granules and a touch of travel sweets. A little more savoury with water, the almonds come out more and so does the old, slightly alien peat.
Body – Big on the delivery too - great balance between fruit, and dry and nutty sherry cask, with perfectly judged wood oils, verging on oil paints. Fruitier again with water but less intense.
Finish - Long and still full of fruit, travel sweets and some petrol. At the end the fruit is gigantic.
This is like the 15 year old turned up to 11, beautifully balanced and a massive fruit bomb - deliciously sherried without overpowering the spirit. Very highly recommended.