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Springbank 15 Year Old Impressions

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What is it? 

Distillery: Springbank, Campbeltown, Scotland
Name: Springbank 15 Year Old
Make: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Extra Info: In 1970, Springbank bottled a 50 Year Old single malt whisky. Distilled in 1919, only 24 bottles were made and in 2013, the last of these was sold by the distillery to a Chinese whisky collector for an astonishing £50,000.

Why did I buy it?

Buying the Springbank 15 Year Old single malt gave me an opportunity to compare it to the younger Springbank 10 and 12 Year Old expressions. The Springbank 15 Year Old is priced similarly to the 12 Year Old Cask Strength but there is still an 18 and a 21 Year Old expression in the current standard Springbank range that are considerably more expensive.

What did I think of it?

Presentation: Maintaining the common design language of the Springbank 10 Year Old and Springbank 12 Year Old Cask Strength this time with a green Springbank logo and lettering denoting the expression as aged 15 years. Bottled at 47% ABV.

Appearance: All Springbank whisky is bottled non-chill filtered and without additional colouring. You can see from the image above that the 15 Year Old is darker than the 10 and 12 Year Old expressions. Note that the 15 Year Old has had water added to bring the ABV down to 47% whereas the 12 Year Old is bottled without dilution at cask strength. The 12 Year Old would be lighter in colour if bottled at the same ABV as the 12 and 15 Year Old expressions.

Aroma: Notes of sweet apple and lightly smoked bacon. Water brings out more wood spices and some sherry.

Flavour: Smooth, oily mouthfeel that picks up spice as it warms in your mouth. Water calms the spice somewhat and reveals creamy vanilla and some chocolate maybe.

Finish: Medium length, with an initial wash of fresh sweetness, followed by a spicy fade that for me, appeared to encourage salivation. A great choice for a digestif perhaps?

Would I buy it again?

Yes, I would. Do I like it more than the similarly priced 12 Year Old Cask Strength? Hard to say. I think the 15 Year Old has a nicer finish but the 12 Year Old has more options for dilution and experimentation. The 12 Year Old also varies from batch to batch, meaning trying a new batch is like trying a new whisky. I am probably more likely to buy another bottle of the 12 Year Old before I buy the 15 Year Old again, but the 15 Year Old is a good benchmark to measure the other whiskies in the standard Springbank range against.

Disclaimer: I do not claim to have the nose and palate of a Master Sommelier, however, I am working to train my senses to better identify whisky aromas and flavours. Consider all my whisky 'Impressions' to be a work in progress and I hope to come back to each of them in the future to see if I notice anything different. Most importantly, I'm not just throwing around random aromas, flavours and adjectives for the hell of it; I am trying really hard to critically describe each whisky I taste - WhiskyDad.

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