Review: Springbank 11yo "Tara's Reserve" (OB) 56.9%

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Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:26 pm

Springbank 11yo "Tara's Reserve" (OB) 56.9%

An original distillery bottling made at Springbank distiller, for a German whiskystore called Tara. Bottled from a 1st fill sherry cask at the age of 11 years (600+ bottles).

Colour: Dark mahogany, rich sherry influence has dyed the whisky very dark without any added colouring.

Nose: Powerful musty sherry notes, vulcanized rubber, roasted sugar, sweet dried raisin, bitter dark chocolate, hints of espresso coffee. Some smoke notes in the background, banana. Water makes the whisky taste more sweet, bringing fruity notes and also emphasizing coastal saltiness and seaweed.

Very robust whisky. Mouthfilling experience, slight rubbery feelings mixed with saltiness, seaweed, dark demerara, dry wood notes. A rich world of aromas, little or no sweetness present. Some treacle and roasted chestnuts. Lets try with some water: This brings Islay-like dimensions to the whisky, some fruity and leathery flavours, saltiness, touch of citrus. Smoke and peat come out stronger and the whisky really opens up immensely with H2O.

Dry oaky notes that make the whisky seem older than 11 years. Powerful finish, smoke and peat seep in from underneath the sherry and roasted tastes. The phenols are not overpowering but give an intense end to the taste.

I enjoy this whisky very much and find it powerful in taste. It is much better than current Springbank distillery bottlings I think. I used to love the older Springbank's of the 90s and have been very disappointed with their new releases since 2000. At the distillery I was able to taste some amazing old versions, but one of the best still to come accross me is the 90's Springbank 21yo, at 46%.

This single barrel bottling is really good.

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