For some reason I thought I’d reviewed the Springbank 10 in the early days of the blog. The truth is I haven’t had it since then—more than five years now (though I did review the Springbank 15 a while ago). But I purchased a bottle recently and after opening it couldn’t figure out why I haven’t been drinking it regularly. It’s not because it’s overpriced in the US, like pretty much everything else in the Springbank portfolio. The price of the 10 yo is still in the low $50s in Minnesota, or pretty much where it was more than five years ago—this is in sharp contrast to the prices of their limited edition cask strength whiskies, which have gone from sub-$100 to more than $200 in some cases. But given the quality of the current version—and the fact that the 12 yo cask strength goes for about $90—I can promise you I’m going to be buying the 10 yo more regularly. Yes, I like this bottle very much indeed. For the particulars, please read the notes that follow.
Springbank 10 (46%; 2017 release; from my own bottle)
Nose: Mild peppery peat, citrus (with a musky overlay), brine, wet wool: in other words, very Springbank. The citrus (lime) expands as it sits and there’s coriander seed too (think wet brine for a turkey). With a drop of water there’s a bit of malted milk (you know, milk with malt powder like we used to drink in India when I was a kid), and less of the peat and lime.
Palate: Exactly as promised by the nose but drier. Very nice texture at full strength with a nice bite from the spices and citrus. With each sip the muskier fruit from the nose makes more of an impression along with the lime—melon perhaps? Simpler with water and a bit more bitter.
Finish: Long. Pepper and peat for a while, with more salt emerging again as it goes. As on the palate with water, with a little more acridity at the end.
Comments: From the more austere end of the spectrum this would give the new Ben Nevis 10 a run for its money in the “Best 10 yo Official Release” race. For us in the US, this one has the added benefit of actually being available here. I think I’m going to replace this bottle as soon as it’s empty—very few better daily drinkers available at this price.
Rating: 88 points.