After my subtle hints while talking about the new Springbank 25 Year Old, some people have been waiting for my review of this one: Springbank 18 Year Old, a single cask version, distilled October 1996 and bottled for The Nectar.
It’s rare to see a bourbon cask version of a well-known dram that relies on sherry casks for around 80% of its composition.
Springbank 18 yo 1996
(58,7%, OB for The Nectar 2014, refill bourbon, single cask, 210 btl.)
Nose: starts with the typical dusty, grainy Springbank note, alongside coastal notes. Vague oily notes (wax candle). A little pepper and mint. Grated coconut. Walnut husks. Over time it becomes clearly fruitier, with lots of gooseberries and rhubarb, strawberries and the lightest tropical touch of papaya. A smoky side as well, not exactly peat smoke but more like toasted oak.
Mouth: big and spicy, again quite oily and waxy with lots of briny notes. In a second wave, there are beautiful fruits – bright, lightly tropical again, say sweet oranges, mango and pineapple. Almonds. Green tea. Dusty, earthy smoke.
Finish: rather long, on zesty notes, oak spices and that faint smoky edge.
The oily fruitiness works very well with the maritime character and the smoky notes in this Springbank 18. As I said before, an exquisite version of an already really good dram. Now that I think of it, it’s totally in line with last year’s 14 Year Old as well. Around € 140.