I’m sat next to super-keen whisky enthusiasts Hannah & Martin, enjoying their first whisky tasting. Hosted by sales manager David Allen, this afternoon’s theme is focused on single cask bottlings destined for international markets, including the UK.
[Springbank] Hazelburn 2003/2018 15yo Ob. Single refill port Hhd [264 bts] 56.6% [75cl] WB89
Intended for the US market, hence the 75cl bottle.
- N: Sherry? No – refill port! Ok.
- T: Tastes of fruits and forests, not at all the same as fruits of the forest. Overall it’s tasty yet edgy – grapey, woody/forest-like > tannic-y and chestnut-y.
- F: That woody wine-fruit edginess never lets up.
- C: Cask-intense malt.
Scores 80 points
[Springbank] Hazelburn 2002/2018 15yo Ob. Single Cask Cognac butt [414 bts] 53.9% WB88.36
Destined for the UK, this is from a single Cognac cask! “Oh no”, someone cries.
- N: Crikey! Moving swiftly on.
- T: Yikes, that’s sharp!
- F: What on earth? If you like licking trees, you’ll love this.
- C: [At times] “,… this rather sums up Springbank”, says David – “odds & sods”. Why specifically for the UK I wonder?
Scores 77 points
Springbank 1998/2018 20yo Single cask rum barrel [150 bts] 51.2% WB90
“This is one of the rarest single casks by limit”, says David, referring to the outturn of only 150 bottles. It was destined for the Japanese market so we are lucky to try it.
- N: Fruity and old skool.
- T: Old skool fruits it is.
- F: Finishes organically dirty/sooty and with more fruitiness.
- C: I’m very glad to have tried this one.
Scores 88 points.
Springbank 1994/2019 24yo Ob. Fresh sherry hogshead [294 bts] 46.2% WB92.75
Also destined for the UK.
- N: [no notes]
- T: Hello, oodles upon oodles of fresh yet long-aged & sherry-rich barley spirit – yes please!
- F: Perfectly apt ashy/sooty sherried conclusion.
- C: Super. The price? A whopping £390. Damn!
Scores 89 points
[Springbank] Longrow 2001/2018 16yo Ob. 1st fill bourbon/Chardonnay finish [366 bts] 54.6% WB88.67
Destined for Sweden, this spent 7 years in a bourbon barrel followed by 9 years in Chardonnay.
- N: A decent, simple yet layered peated winey number, on the nose at least.
- T: It’s the mouthfeel that reveals the bigger picture.
- F: Concludes with a peaty sooty base.
- C: Forgettable.
Scores 81 points
[Springbank] Longrow 2007/2018 10yo Ob. Fresh Sauternes Hhd [258 bts] 56%
More wine maturation. This one went to Belgium, and going by Whiskybase: 89, they loved it.
- N: Forget #5, this is surely the whisky for [sweet] wine lovers.
- T: Wow ok, great – old skool and with super integration.
- F: No sign of cask dominance here. The barley beer distillate sings true.
- C: This is a rather fine Sauternes-matured Scotch single malt.
Scores 88 points.
Let’s call that a day! Tomorrow it’s Glengyle’s.