Whisky Advocate

Review: four Springbank single casks for the U.S. market

August 1st, 2011

Here’s a round of single cask Springers matured completely (not finished) in various wine casks for the U.S. market. All four are solid efforts—it’s really a matter of personal preference. (Try to taste them before you buy.) A general comment: most of the single cask releases are matured in some sort of wine or rum cask. While this is nice, I would love to see several single cask, cask strength, and fully-matured ex-bourbon barrel bottlings offered for a change. — John Hansell

Springbank, 14 year old, Fino Cask (#265), 55.3%, $100

The freshest of the bunch, chock full of Springbank character. Light and lively. Floral, with plenty of fruit (green grapes, kiwi, apple tart) on a bed of honeyed malt. Nuttiness and brine emerge towards the finish and linger.

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 88

Springbank, 14 year old, Amontillado Cask (#305), 55.4%, $100

Citrus, exotic wood and botanicals on the nose and palate. Indeed, there’s a bit of intrigue here. Nice balance, with roasted nuts, pecan pie, and more exotic wood on the finish.

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 87

Springbank, 14 year old, Manzanilla Cask (#259), 54.8%, $100

Complex citrus (orange, tangerine, lime, and a hint of lemon), honeyed malt kissed by maple syrup, caramelized pineapple, cinnamon, and a dusting of nutmeg. Nutty toffee on the finish.

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 86

Springbank, 14 year old, Oloroso Cask (#268), 56.2%, $100

What you might expect a traditional 100% Oloroso sherry cask-aged Springbank to taste like, with probably the most familiar flavor profile of the four: rich, with nuts and dried fruit, chocolate-coated brittle toffee, plenty of spice (cinnamon, ginger), polished oak, hint of tobacco and smoke.

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 86

14 Responses to “Review: four Springbank single casks for the U.S. market”

  1. When I read “matured in wine casks”, I immediately thought of Sauternes, Pomerol or maybe even the infamous Tokaij. I feel somewhat relieved after having noticed that in fact they are all ‘just’ sherry casks.

    I actually like the idea to compare the influence of different types of sherry while keeping the other maturation parameters constant. Sherry types sadly are not mentioned very often on the bottles.

    Of course a nice straightforward bourbon expression is never a bad thing either.

  2. Looking very good! I hope to find some on shelves in whisky bars when I visit the states again this autumn. Very cool that they are all the same age and at comparable ABVs.

  3. juan carlos arias says:

    After spending one week at the distilllery in the whisky school last month, and after having tasted several whislies straight from the casksl, all I can expect from this bottles is quallity. Traditional methods, quality casks and the expert eyes of Frank McHardy make Springbank whiskies rise and sing. Don’t miss them!

  4. two-bit cowboy says:

    “While this is nice, I would love to see several single cask, cask strength, and fully-matured ex-bourbon barrel bottlings offered for a change.” — John Hansell

    I’m with you on that one!

    • Red_Arremer says:

      As am I two-bit, though i really enjoyed their 11 yo c/s madeira realease.

      • Mark says:

        I think we’re talking about the same (but different from John’s present post) series of Sprinbank casks. I bought one finished in Marsala casks; one aged entirely in Amontillado; and this same Madeira one you’re referring to, all CS, in the range of about 55%.

        The Amontillado edition is good and growing on me, but the Marsala edition is astounding. So good I’m considering getting a back up for it. I haven’t opened the Madeira edition yet, but temptation is building. Maybe when the weather cools down.

      • mongo says:

        i love that madeira–only have 1 bottle left and now it’s disappeared from my area (and online too as far as i can tell).

  5. I picked up each of these about a month ago for $94.99, each. My local liquor store here had to special order them. While the distributor here in Madison, WI could get these, they didn’t have any on hand.

    I haven’t opened them, yet, because I’m planning to taste them all together. The prospect of tasting four different kinds of sherries is exciting!

    As for single cask, cask strength, ex-bourbon-only Springbank, the SMWSA (is it taboo to mention that, here?) had a 10 year old expression just recently: bottling 27.90. I may need to include that one in the tasting I do with these four whiskies.

    Anyone live in Madison? :)

    Jonathan

  6. John R says:

    K&L is bringing in a Springbank bourbon cask this Fall. You can pre-order it now, but obviously no one has tasted it but them.

  7. Chris says:

    I think these will be my next major Scotch purchase. And while I agree that some single cask, CS bourbon releases would be great, the advantage to these is that it’s possible to compare the effect of the different sherry types, with the other factors all being the same. I do wish that they offered these as a set in half bottles, or even smaller bottles, which would make it a little more affordable to try all four. At least they sound like the live up to the high standards that I expect from Springbank.

  8. mongo says:

    john, how does this 14yr old oloroso cask compare to the previous 12yr old oloroso?

  9. David Bailey Jr. says:

    The variety of sherry cask types looks good. Can’t wait to sample.

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