Before I head out to host the Munich Spirits-tasting tonight, I am going to review two great drams that just have been released. The first one was sent to me by our friend Carsten Ehrlich from ‚The Whisky Agency‘, a 1972 Glen Grant from a Sherry Hogshead, the second one is the new SMWS Springbank bottling out of an identical cask. Enjoy reading:
Glen Grant 1972 – 2011 The Whisky Agency ‚Private Stock‘, Sherry Hogshead, 87 btl., 51,4%
Comment: Very mature and fruity at first (ripe regional of all kind as well as tropical), vanilla, honey and toffee, also a complex spicy counterpart (Asian spices, ginger and white pepper) to avoid boredom, wonderful oak wood, ashes, all is well-balanced. Later, milk coffee, marshmallows, apricot jam, lemon zest and hazelnuts join the mix. The Sherry is really unobtrusive and perectly integrated. On the palate, the ‚dried fruit brigade‘ takes no prisoners with a slightly dry and intense attack with a lot of tannic wood and honey, but the other aromas are in the background. High class all the way, especially when the long finish starts to hum its fruity tune accompanied by neat white oak.
Springbank 10 y.o. SMWS 27.87, 2000 – 2011, Sherry Hogshead, 54,4%
Comment: Surprise! Really much better than expected. I am getting a salty and nutty coastal aroma with well-integrated Sherry, that isn’t hiding at all. Hence we got pleasant dark fruits of all kind and a peppery spiciness from the wood with tiny bitterness. There also are peaty tones, ham, coconut, cookies and coffee detectable. High class and complexity like in the old days. No joke! Where did they find this cask? On the palate and in the finish, the intensity and joy continues in the same way and takes up a little farmyardiness too, but the creaminess of the old style is not fully there – but that would be a task too hard for any malt these days. This is a stunner not to be missed. Forget the numbers, which might not convince you to buy a bottle, go for the taste of this big malt. I hope there will come more Springers like that in the future.