May 5, 2012

Springbank "Edinburgh International Festival 2010"...

Springbank Edinburgh International Festival Blended Scotch Whisky 2010 (40.0%): Every year Springbank Distillery releases a very limited edition blended whisky. Only 2010 bottles in total of this particular expression are bottled for the Festival of 2010 and maybe only a few hundreds of them are put on sale after all the participating artists got their bottles as a gift from the Festival. The label doesn't give us any detailed info about where the whisky is coming from but oddly enough the box says: "J&A Mitchell's Campbeltown Scotch Whisky". Obviously all the single malt components of the blend are coming from Springbank Distillery but I don't think that there are any grain whisky distilleries in Campbeltown. It is kind of confusing... I assume the blend uses the same source of grain whisky used for Cadenhead's blended expression "Campbeltown Loch" which is basically owned by J. & A. Mitchell Group as well but it doesn't justify the Cambeltown stamp. Anyway, I was lucky enough to score a bottle as a member of The Wooster Group after our performances at Lyceum Theater but needless to say it didn't last too long... So, thanks to Teresa Hartmann for generously offering a sample from her own bottle for this review she miraculously managed to save for two years. Color: Very pale yellow, lemon chiffon. Like a very young Pinot Grigio. Nose: Bartlett pears, unripe bananas, lemon zest and some kumquat. Banana cream pie with grassy aromas. Chalk dust and subtle sea spray. Actually everything I would expect from a young Springbank. Palate: Thin mouthfeel. Grain whisky takes the stage. Very young, vibrant and awakening. Unripe green pears, green tart apples and sultana grapes. Dry turf and clay. Maybe a tiny bit of peat if I really dig for it. I am getting also some wood aromas but not toasted or charred, mostly like green woodFinish: Short but pleasant and still fruity. Overall: There is no doubt that it is a very young blend. But it is also a great example how young and cheap blends don't have to be bland and boring if they are done right. It's an exquisite, easy drinking and enjoyable whisky. If Springbank would release this blend as a permenant expression I would probably be a regular but I know the barrels used for it were only enough for a limited release. It's also really exciting to see how different every year's expression is. I had the chance to taste also the 2007 expression back in time and it was a maltier and more European oak influenced blend. Looking forward for the next one I will have the chance to taste...