Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Put a Spring in Your Step: K&L Bourbon Barrel Springbank

K&L's Dynamic Duo of Davids is heading to Scotland again this year to find more single barrels for us, but I'm still tasting through last year's set. While there have been some I haven't cared for (and okay, one that was downright awful, but that's another story), the general quality of K&L's picks from last year was very high, and I previously posted about some of my favorites.

Last year's pick included two Springbanks, a 14 year old Madeira barrel and a 13 year old bourbon barrel aged. I was most interested in the bourbon barrel. Springbank is one of those distilleries with a cult-following, maybe not to the extent of Ardbeg, but pretty close. Personally, while I've enjoyed some Springers, I've never understood the devotion to the distillery. I just haven't had that many Springbanks that I've loved. I was particularly interested in this bourbon barrel expression because I always think it's interesting to try bourbon aged versions of malts that are more typically sherried. Once you peel away those bold sherry notes, what's left?

Springbank 1998 (for K&L), 13 years old, 56.9% abv ($95)

The nose on this is very botanical and herbal with gin-like juniper notes. The palate follows suit with huge botanical notes. I get Genever gin, some rye whiskey notes and pickling spices. Water brings out even more spice and some fresh wood notes. The finish is hot and spicy.

This is a really great Springbank and one I would heartily recommend. It's not the usual flavor profile at all, but very lively and flavorful. Great stuff and it's still in good supply.


Eric said...

I'm a bit surprised this hasn't sold out by now (I might go and get another bottle then). In my mind more of the distillery character is noticeable under bourbon maturation though feel free to disagree.

James said...

Now I'm curious as to which one was the awful one.

sku said...

James, I should have pointed out that the one in question seemed to have been tainted somehow (at least some of the bottles did) and when they realized it, K&L pulled the bottle and refunded customers who wanted a refund. It's not as if that one is still out there and you might accidentally choose it.

See my LAWS review.

Eric said...

The awful one was a Bruichladdich that completely fell apart a month after opening. K&L sent the bottles back to the distillery and hopefully they can figure out what went wrong.

James said...

Did they ever figure out what went wrong?

As for the K and L Bourbon cask Springbank, I agree that it's a very good one. The Brora however is my favorite of the bunch. Yours?

sku said...

I haven't tried all of them and haven't tried the Brora, but of the ones I've had, I think I like the Bladnoch best. I like the Banff a lot as well but only had it on the fly and haven't done a formal tasting yet.

Anonymous said...

any thoughts on the 30 year old chieftains Brora from k&l?