Springbank 15 year old
It’s like drinking a chilled glass of oloroso sherry amongst terracotta pots filled with clean earth and fresh herbs whilst from outside the sweet smell of orange blossom wafted in through the open door. We’re not making that up. It’s a real whisky review. From a real whisky website. We’ll be honest, we don’t see it. Don’t get us wrong, it was a lovely drink; but terracotta ports filled with clear earth? Give us a break.
We’re sure some people will read our more verbose whisky notes and say we’re mad as a box of frogs. We once wrote a review in the form of a poem for Christ’s sake. We’re no strangers to a grandiose phrase. But sometimes, even the best reviewers go off piece. Let’s look at Springbank Distillery, where we couldn’t disagree more with their review of their own 15 year old whisky:
The only mingling cheery is doing with cowhide is underneath a blanket of smoke. That isn’t to say it isn’t there and we are certainly not saying this is a poor whisky, quite the contrary, we like it. But it shows that people can have completely different tastes in whisky. Our notes on this are:
Nose: The inside of a Navajo tepee a man called Running Deer predicts your future by looking at the shadows cast from a slowly smouldering fire.
Mouth: Overcooked lentils in oil that was poured through the holes in a charred piece of sourdough bread
Throat: Standing above the ruins of an anthill after a boy set it alight with a magnifying glass
3/5 – Buy a measure of it. Everybody’s got to believe in something. We believe we’ll have another of these.
We disagree with Springbank’s ‘official’ tasting notes, not because they are bad, but because we just don’t agree with the favours they pick up. But that’s okay. Who cares?
They say that a well-crafted whisky review needs to be relatable. You can’t say ‘it smells like my garage after a rainstorm’ because no one else knows what your garage smells like. Of course, the problem with sensible stating notes is that they are not nearly as much fun to write, let alone read. The best whisky reviews are evocative because whisky is emotive. Do we think that a particularly whisky looks like ‘shipwreck booty’ probably not because we don’t know what that even means. Is it green? Who knows? Maybe that’s part of the fun.