Exactly two weeks ago me and the Drambuddies (Single Malt Snob, Whisky in a Labcoat, and I) had a very special live tasting for my birthday. What made it so special wasn’t even my birthday, but the fact that when we announced that we we’re doing a Springbank Distillery liveshow, Toon from Hogshead Imports contacted me about providing us with a sample of this amazing Springbank 1994 bottled by Spheric Spirits.
The liveshow did take an odd turn while we we’re tasting this dram though, as the dram made us all fall silent with admiration. What a stellar dram this is! While our fellow whisky enthusiast had to watch us fully enjoy the spirit in silence sometime, I felt glad that I had saved a bit of the sample. Because that meant that I could not only go back to it to experience the magnificence of this dram again… it would also give me the chance to write and share some proper tasting notes about it.
Tasting Notes: Spheric Spirits – Springbank 1994
ABV: 47,1% (94,2 Proof)
Age: 27 years old
Bottled by: Spheric Spirits
Category: Campbeltown Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Natural Colour: Yes
It’s Whisky Wednesday and I’ve been working on selecting the whiskies for the fall edition of my Explorer’s Pack. With the summer just starting it felt quite odd to consider drams that might suit the rainy fall season, but it was a very fun exercise nonetheless. I decided to enjoy my second time with this dram with some Blue Note Jazz in the background, as I poured the whisky neat into one of my own Dram1 whisky glasses.
On the liveshow I mentioned that the nose of this dram vaguely reminds me of potpourri, a mention that led to the appalment of my co-hosts. I do understand where that appalment comes from though, as it’s not really a popular scent nowadays. But what I’m finding is dried flowers, and I’m finding those notes in such a beautiful way that I truly meant it as a compliment. Aside from those dried flower notes I’m finding fresh cut grass, a hint of citrus, cactus fruit, and cotton candy. There is an extreme amount of complexity to the nose of this dram, especially since it stays light and floral throughout. None of the scents become overwhelmingly powerful, which allows me to keep discovering layer upon layer.
A basket of fruit is waiting for me on the palate, filled to the brim with apples, yellow grapes, pears and pluots. There’s also a healthy dose of ginger, and just a hint of tannins that starts to shine through. The faintest hint of liquorice root rounds it all off beautifully. Liquorice root tea with a wedge of lemon comes to mind.
The finish of this dram sticks with you for quite some time. First there’s a surge of tannin bitterness, which then lingers quite nicely. Which provides for a beautiful contrast to the fruity elements staying behind after sipping this dram. Apples and yellow grapes reappear, and a slight green tea note shows up as well. The little bit of bite that remains from the tannins paired with the notes of yellow grape reminds me slightly of a high-quality champagne. A note to savour for sure!
During the liveshow I talked a lot about how much of a fan I am of what Spheric Spirits tried to accomplish here (and did!). They took exhausted ex-sherry casks to mature this whisky for a whopping 27 years to give us (whiskylovers) a sense of what a high-quality dram tastes like when it has been matured for a long period without overly much cask influence.
And just have a look at that colour. It’s a perfect representation of how little cask influence this dram has experienced during its long life. What it gives us is a unique perspective on whisky. A chance of a lifetime to taste the influence of age without too much influence of the cask. I cannot begin to express my gratitude to Spheric Spirits for choosing to bottle this spirit in such a way. Nor can I begin to express my gratitude to Toon for allowing me to sample this dram once more.
This has been a whisky experience that will stick with me for a very long time. I rate this amongst the best whisky’s I have ever tried!