Springbank 11 year old (Warehouse sample)

Bottle: Duty paid sample for trade purposes only. Warehouse no.7, rotation number 271, distilled 8/7/2005.

Nose: An intense combination or raisin, model glue, new car tyre and liquorice allsorts. It’s kinda wild but balanced. With additional breathing time, the rubber note fades and black cherry starts creeping in. Requires at least 5 minutes before sipping.

Body: Lighter than I was expecting and it gets waxy.

Palate: Bitter dark chocolate ( think 85%+ cocoa), ginger and aniseed. Chewy and intense when unwatered.

Finish: Warming, dusty and sour. Aniseed and lemon zest. Some lingering oak too.

Neat/Ice/Water: 59.7%.  A little watering and the nose loses the more chemical notes and replaces them with red fruit. The mouth profile is much the same but turned down from 11 to a more manageable 9. Hold on, some hot caramel sauce just arrived. The texture shifts to more minerals and some cayenne heat joins the party. The finish gets longer and much hotter. Wow! Proper chilli heat now. I can go either way here.

Verdict: Superior. This is from a first fill, single cask, sherry hogshead. The picture above doesn’t do the depth of colour justice. It’s a glorious, deep rich auburn that looks ruby red when held in direct sunlight. This is a consolation prize from a mate for missing out yet again on the Campbelltown Festival. I took one look at it and knew it wasn’t going to have much shelf time! Picked it up two days ago and seeing as it’s my birthday, well I fancy something a little bit special. It’s a beast of a dram and one for small doses only. You couldn’t have a whole evening on it. Intense but very rewarding. This would work well with a cigar or some extra mature cheddar on pumpernickel rounds.

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