Springbank 8 Year 1st Fill Sherry

Scotch Whisky Review #172: Springbank 8 Year 1st Fill Sherry

Distillery: Springbank

Cask Type: First fill sherry hogshead

Price: $13 for 2oz

ABV: 56.3%

Age: 8 Year. Distilled March 2011, Bottled August 2019

Color: 1.5, Auburn/Polished Mahogany. Natural Color and Non-Chill Filtered

Nose: (according to the wife) It’s really spicy, it’s like sticking your nose into a bag of chili powder. There’s a decent amount of sweet sherry as well and some rubbery peat.

Palate: Very rich mouthfeel with deep red fruits dominating. It’s hard to pick out any individual fruit notes though, it’s just on big bunch of them. There’s some of the earthy, Springbank funk along with burnt sugar and dry oak which makes it fairly warm. The sherry, while present, is significantly weaker than I’d expected it to be. With water, it becomes sweeter and earthier at the same time. The sweetness comes from something very caramel-like and the earthy funk intensifies its forward firepower. Not a lot of depth.

Finish: Incredibly long. Your mouth feels like you’ve just stuck a giant spoonful of chili powder in it. Tongue is on fire and you can’t wait for it to go away. There’s a bit more of the earthy funk but even that is mostly drowned out by the chili powder. Get’s a little cooler with water added, still too spicy however.

Conclusion: I’ve been on a bit of a first fill sherry kick lately and having seen how well Springbank can do with sherry casks, I was really excited going into this one. For me, I think Springbank has missed the mark a little bit. Nose is out of balance with a bit of sweet and a whole lot of spicy. The finish continues that imbalance with so much spice that I wanted to wash it out of my mouth. While it did get a little cooler, it was still too spicy for me. The palate of this is the real saving grace. While it lacks in depth, the deep red fruits along with the earthy tones and burnt sugar make for a very pleasant and well balanced dram. I wish I could have liked this but as a whole, I can’t say I cared for it. Would I buy a bottle? No.

Final Score: 73.

Scotch Whisky Review #172, Campbeltown Whisky Review #3, Whisky Network Review #235

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