This is another provisional review, this time from a trip to the Whiskey Soda Lounge here in SE Portland.
Nose: gentle but rich Oloroso sherry, the characteristic Springbank coastal brine underneath, brown sugar, soapy in a pleasant fashion - kind of like fresh laundry, peat - somewhere in between smokey and vegetal, slightly yeasty, some barbecue notes. After adding a few drops of water, more oak emerges, the brine holds fast, while the peat becomes creamier and more vegetal, some dry cacao, and hints of sherry.
Taste: Brine and malt dominate, a bit of peat near the back, some sugary sweetness up front. After adding water, the taste is initially still sugary sweet up front, then a muddled wave of sherry, brine, and peat all crowd for attention, with just a little bit of TCP at the back of the mouth.
Finish: more brine and malt, oaky tannins come out. After adding water, some drying peat comes out.
Overall I'll have to admit that I was a little bit disappointed by this whisky. The nose is fairly good, though less sherry-influenced that I expected it to be given that the whisky going into this expression is aged entirely in sherry casks. The sherry and peat combo reminded me of Talisker Distiller's Edition, though I found this Springbank to be much less robust. Additionally, while I generally liked the nose, the palate was rather disappointing, tasting little better than the much less expensive Springbank CV. Admittedly, I was trying this whisky under less than ideal conditions, but it wasn't an experience that makes me want to rush out and buy a full bottle (especially at $80+ a pop).
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