I visited Budapest last week. Sadly, it’s not a great whisky destination, as there are no real whisky bars in the city, nowhere to go to find some exotic drams. Although there is a pretty good whisky shop there, called Whiskynet, with a nice selection and pretty good prices. If you are going to be in Budapest, you should place your order over the internet in advance and have it wait for you in the store, as internet prices are some 10% cheaper online then in person, even if you swing by and pick it up from them. Another good reason to order in advance is that Zsolt speaks English and is very helpful communicating on Facebook, but when I got to the store, the very nice employee behind the counter spoke only Hungarian, and communication beyond gesticulation was somewhat challenging.
I’m telling you all this simply to note that together with my order (Wilson and Morgan Clynelish 18 finished in a Tokaji cask, Benromach 10 100 Proof and a Springbank 15 (still priced at under 60 Euro)), I got a Springbank 10 miniature as a gift. In fact, once you make a purchase over a certain limit, you get to choose a miniature to call your own. Nice touch 🙂
Not having reviewed the Springbank 10 yet, I chose it, and am happy I did. The 10, like all the Springbank core range, is a mix of both bourbon and sherry casks, although if I compare it to the 12 or the 15, the ratio here is, as you would expect, highly skewed toward the bourbon end. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as this allows the spirit itself to shine through a little brighter.
Springbank 10 Year Old (46% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Pale gold, very slow legs.
Nose: Dirty Campbeltown, oily, some light peat. Honey with a hint of licorice with green tomato stalks. Lots of maltiness with a farm like feel. This is a pretty bold expression.
Palate: very dirty oil, conjures up a garage with pepper and green grass. There is a hint of sweetness on the back of the tongue.
Linger: Peppery and slightly peaty, with some hints of lemon zest. Some dryness on the roof of the mouth.
This is a very different Springbank with little sherry influence. It retains a lot of the characteristic dirty farmy notes you associate with Springbank, and is bolder than the 15 year old, and less tamed than the 12 year old Cask Strength. An absolutely “in your face” dram, in a very good way!