Single malt whisky - tasting notes

22 Feb 2010

Springbank 18 years (2010)

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: Springbank

Last year we saw the release of a new Springbank 18 years old. It was matured mainly in sherry casks and it was received very well by reviewers.

I was told it contained quite a lot of older whisky. In fact 21yo would have been a more accurate name. This year, there’s a new version limited at 9000 bottles with the same cask distribution (80% sherry, 20% bourbon). It’s likely to sell out really soon.

 

Springbank 18 yo Springbank 18y (46%, OB 2010)

Nose: it takes a while to open up, but it’s clear the berries are the key element again. Blueberries, strawberries… an unusual but very enjoyable fruit mix. Underneath is a darker layer of roasted grains, very gentle smoke and hints of marzipan and vanilla. A slightly earthy / dusty edge as well, which makes it a classic Springbank. While it’s still very balanced and entertaining, I remember last year’s release to be more expressive and complex. Mouth: same remark, it seems rather tame. Quite oily with the sherry standing out a bit (dried fruits, some spices, nuts). Slightly bittersweet. A hint of smoke. Finish: medium length but really nice, with notes of blueberries, chocolate and spices.

While it’s still a good whisky, I was underwhelmed by this new version. Maybe it’s the power of imagination (I didn’t have a chance to taste them head-to-head), but the new version seems to be playing in a lower league. Quite expensive: around € 100.

Score: 84/100

Springbank 18 years (2010) 3 Ruben Luyten 2010-02-22
  • http://whisky.foodnwine.co.il gal

    Ruben

    I do have the 15 YO at home, and i dont quite like it enough. how would you rate this one compared to the 15?

  • Charlie

    The older batch/version is still better, even for Springbank?

  • Toon

    Hi Ruben,

    I recently bought the Springbank vintage 1997 batch #2. I really like that one. Do you know how this 18 compares to the 1997 vintage?

    Slainthe,
    Toon

  • http://www.whiskynotes.be Ruben

    It’s difficult to compare malts you didn’t try head-to-head. I’ve only tasted the 1997 vintage batch #1 and that was two years ago… In my memory the 1997 was less sweet (less fruity notes, no sherry) and smokier.

  • james

    Ruben,

    The previous release in the display box was actually not an 18y old Springbank, but it was more like 20 -21 y old.

  • http://www.onversneden.com Johan

    I tasted both previous and new batch. To my likings the previous version is much better, way more complex. And indeed a lot of older whisky in it.

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  • Ricardo

    I liked the 18 YO with the blue label and wreath very much. That one I would have rated 88-89. There are still a few bottles of that floating around.

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  • WhiskyNotes: It says 'single cask Scotch whisky' on the label, so yes, technically it can even contain a bit of Girvan grain. Not that it matters a lot though.
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WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.