Springbank 21 Year Single Cask
Nose: Dense, earthy malt. Peat moss. Subtle lemongrass and chewy plums. Initially, it is a little restrained on the nose. I kept getting a strange, pungent smell of damp, over saturated wood left for years on the forest floor. It fades in and out. Salty caramel. Canned peaches in sherry syrup. Artificial banana. Hints of old leather and tobacco leaf. Plump and complex. Grape bubble gum. A very good balance of cask influence and Springbank spirit. Sweet and sour from one moment to the next
Taste: The arrival slowly builds and thickens on the palate. The soggy, wet wood note carries over, then sweetens nicely into light prune juice and watered down molasses. Fresh orange pekoe tea. Within minutes, the back of my upper lip was numb and tingling. The sherry notes are on the lighter side, but are solid and delicious. Not a sherry bomb, but it is better because of it. Oily and viscous on the tongue. Just a puff of peat smoke. Black pepper and brine. Eating a lemon flavored waxy crayon. Grilled sea scallops.
Finish: This is one whisky that gets better as it develops. There is not a lot of added complexity in the finish, but the alcohol kicks in at this point and elevates the flavors to a new level. The finish is savory and dominated by lemon zest and oily wood tannins. Prunes and spearmint. Salted crackers.