For Fridays reviews we’re ending on a high note with some drams from an upcoming distillery we think could be huge one day…
Spheric Spirits Springbank (1994) Cask #94
Spheric Spirits (for those of you who are unaware) are a German based distiller/ Independent Bottler. You can read more about them at https://sphericspirits.com.
This particular release is a 27yo Springbank that spent its life slumbering in a refill Sherry hogshead before being bottled in 2022 with an outturn of 241 bottles.
We're initially finding a mixture of lemons, apples and pears. The alcohol is apparent on the nose, backing up some oily, salty, mineral aromas. We're finding that classic dunnage warehouse aroma that's quintessential Springbank, balancing incredibly well with the cask and spirit. We're not finding much sherry on the nose, but that's not a problem as it's got a mellow yet distinct aroma that is very pleasant to nose, and we keep coming back to it over and over again. Going back to it after a little air, we're finding light oak and vanilla coming through, as well as a slight cakeiness whilst still maintaining its light character.
Sweet lemon tart, salted caramel, butter biscuits. It's initially very sweet, but has a hit of acidity and salinity that brings the dram into balance as the palate evolves. We're finding an undertone of earthy peat smoke that assists with the more savoury palate, along with a hint of nutmeg and apple pie. The mouthfeel presents an oily character whilst the flavour is still light and refreshing, and the finish continues for a good length showing light oak spice and caramel.
Nose (with water)
Water has brought out a lot more citrus on the nose, and we're finding lime and tangerine in addition to the lemon we found previously. We're also finding some coastal sea air, more vanilla cake and oak appearing. The balance of the whisky is preserved, and we're finding the alcohol has mellowed quite significantly. We could sit here for hours...
Palate (with water)
The initial palate retains the sweet and zingy citrus tart-like flavours, but the back palate transforms into more of a richer, caramel/toffee flavour. This is perhaps some of that sherry cask peeking through. The peat influence is slightly more prominent now, earthy, campfire smoke and a little cinnamon bark in the background. It maintains its oily mouthfeel along with its long finish, this time a little more oak and tannins coming through.
We're very lucky to have had the chance to try such a rare single cask Springbank, and it hasn't disappointed one bit. For a refill sherry cask, it is quite light after 27 years in the cask, yet the time has brought an incredible balance and complexity to what is such a high quality spirit. This is excellent whisky, and while it’s very expensive, it’s pricing is in line with other IB Springbanks. If you’re whisky budget can stretch this is a 9/10.
Springbank 8yo Online Tasting Week 2021
This release was initially matured for 6 years in refill bourbon barrels, before being finished for 2 years in PX casks. 1,160 bottles were released for the 2021 tasting week.
We're greeted with rich treacle, molasses and dates. We're finding a light charred wood/ash aroma in the background, along with a good amount of alcohol in the form of white pepper. It's a little overpowering on the nose, with the PX covering a little too much of the spirit's character. Going back after some air, we're finding vanilla jellybeans, raisins, dark chocolate and roasted coffee beans (maybe a little bit of pumpkin spice in there too!)
It begins with manuka honey, sultanas, cherries, blackberry liqueur with an earthy, woody undertone. It's sweeter than expected, but still maintains those richer PX notes. It has a nice mouthfeel, quite viscous, but the finish dissipates quicker than we'd like. The alcohol also seems a little hot, providing more of a dominant note as the dram carries on. After some air we're finding prunes, nougat, a little liquorice and some balsamic vinegar.
Nose (with water)
The alcohol has mellowed, now we're finding more nuttiness and oak. We're getting some fresher red fruits - raspberries, cherry and a hint of strawberry mixed with lemon. There's still a nice underlying earthy peat smoke note, as well as floral, violet note.
Palate (with water)
In the same vein as the nose, the alcohol has been brought into balance, and we're finding blackcurrants, fizzy cola bottles with a touch of chili in the background. It still maintains a good texture, and feels a little fresher on the palate as opposed to the richer, heavier pre-diluted dram.
A powerful sherry bomb, but still complex with lots going on. It's a touch young and hot for us, and the finish doesn't hold up as long as we'd like. We're also not sure we'd identify it as Springbank as there is an incredible amount of cask influence masking some of the distillery character. Water tames some of the alcohol bite, so we'd recommend adding a drop or two to bring some additional balance to the whisky.
- 10 - Perfection. A whisky that we’ll remember forever.
- 9 - Amazing. We’d pay through the nose for a bottle.
- 8 - Great. Pick this up at RRP.
- 7 - Good. Happy to have a dram or two but wouldn’t buy a bottle.
- 6 - Passable. Would accept a dram, but wouldn’t seek it out.
- 5 - Poor. Would drink if it was the only option.
- 4 - Bad. Maybe it can be saved by ginger beer?
- 3 - Awful. It can't be saved by ginger beer.
- 2 - Pour it out
- 1 - We’ve never tried a whisky rated this low and hopefully never will.