I’ve not been tasting many new Springbanks over the last couple of months. The keyword there is new, since I did do a review of my bottle’s end of a 1996 Fino Sherry single cask, which was awesome. And there was the Springbank Green of course. But still.
I got this sample from my buddy Ben, as yesterday’s Inchmurrin. I never even heard of the Springbank Marrying Strength. As it turns out it’s an official bottling available from the Campbeltown Cadenhead’s shop, which doubles as the distillery shop. As far as I know the shop does a lot of special releases and one-of cask samples from Springbank which is really awesome.
I have to say that I’m not entirely sure on the ABV of this bottle since I got this info from a Swiss webshop stating 49.1. Whiskybase, however, states 49.3%, both with image. The scribblings on the sample bottle’s label just say 49%. I can’t find much info though. Interesting.
Edit: It just seems the Whiskybase data wasn’t complete and there are more than one bottlings of this Marrying Strength range. As it turns out this sample was from a third bottle, a 49% one.
It’s been matured in bourbon casks for 10 years before being lowered to ‘marrying strength’, and sit for a while for the flavors to integrate.
The American oak is clear, but not too thick on the nose. Some hints of vanilla but it doesn’t overpower Springbank’s rather typical flavors of salt and minerals. Iron, apples, fresh but dusty grain. It does get a little sugary if you let it sit for a while.
The palate starts sugary but develops more flavor if you let it swim for a little while. The saltiness is here too, with vanilla and some light spices. Fresh barley with an old fashioned hessian bag, apple, oak. Icing sugar and the minerals kick in later.
The finish isn’t too long, but it’s powerful. Warming, with hints of vanilla, apple and salt. Sounds a bit like a dessert… Suddenly I get some honey roasted peanuts. So, salt and honey now. And a slight nuttiness.
This is not a highly complex whisky, but I can see its appeal. It shows all the niceties of Springbank without being overly high strength, and it’s slightly low on the dirtiness that some Springbanks are showing lately (which I love, by the way).
The vanilla, honey and salt combination works very well for me and with the barley and minerals, iron and apple I think you have the classic combination of bourbon matured Springbank, which is awesome.
So, a rather good whisky, that I probably would love to pick up if I’d find myself in Campbeltown. But then again, I would seriously overspend in that shop…
Springbank Marrying Strength, 10yo, 2004-2014, 49.x%. Available in Switzerland for € 90 (which isn’t too surprising with Switzerland being very expensive in anything)