"The sweetness of this Campbelltown single malt was less than I remembered from my previous tasting last year, I would say for the better"
When you get something from Springbank Distillery in a blind tasting, there are many possibilities to distract you. It can be their standard range with its typical character, but it can also be heavily peated (Longrow), (virtually) non-peated (Hazelburn), or tweaked by maturation in a wide range of wine casks. Or a combination. We had one of those today. This Hazelburn, matured in Barolo casks, has been subject of one of last year’s tasting sessions, and I found it way too sweet. This time it gave a somewhat better impression. Another batch, or were my tasting buds in a different mood?
The first impression is sweet, fruity, with a slightly oily backbone. Lots of bananas, orange candies, papaya, and maybe a few drops of mango juice. It is rather civilised, no extremities and no evident alcohol in the nose. When you stick your nose longer into the glass, there is an extra layer behind the first one. Orange lemonade, juicy sweet pears, a faint hint of oak, this part is sweeter with some spicy hints. Honey, sugared cereals, caramel, we could have this for breakfast (but we won’t). There is some clear cask influence, which tends to take over the nose after a while.
Again the cask influence become quickly evident. We have her lots of oranges, bananas that are now unripe, pineapple and an acidic edge of grapefruit. There are definitely some waxes and oils in the aftertaste, together with a hint of liquorice and maybe a tiny swirl of smoke. In particular the aftertaste is pretty excellent, and long. The palate becomes slightly (too) acidic for my taste after a while. The aftertaste contains both the acidity and the sweetness, which seem kind of clash. To my taste it becomes it bit strange, not the strongest part of this dram.
The extensive fruitiness was difficult to pin down and finally brought me to Auchentoshan. That is mostly based on the description, since I never has the pleasure to taste something from this distillery (or the Lowlands at all). A shame of course…. but that might change soon. Anyway, I still do not find this the strongest member of the Springbank family. They have so much to offer and maybe the Barolo cask would better suit a stronger spirit like the standard Springbank or Longrow. Just my view, of course.
This samples was part of the
• these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •