Springbank 12 Year Old (Green Thistle)

Springbank Campletown Single Malt Scotch Whiskey Aged 12 Years
46% ABV
What Richard Says:
Nose: Big, meaty, sulfuric sherry on the nose with bits of raisins and caramel covered nuts.
Palate: Oily, rich, sherry sweetness and layers of tobacco and leather showing the older malt mixed in.
Finish: Long and polished. Wood is barely evident.
Comments: I pulled this out of a back shelf at a Kroger liquor store in Columbia, South Carolina. It’s the only one I’ve ever seen in the wild. These older Springbanks are typically referred to as “Thistle” releases because the labels of various versions of the 12 year old have different colors of thistle under the Springbank insignia. This version is the “green thistle” version. This version came in two variations: a 46% and 50% variation. What makes these unique is the extraordinary components. In the mid to late nineties when these were bottled there were a number of casks in the 30 to 36 year old range that had evaporated to below 40% ABV and thus could not be bottled by themselves. This malt was used to “water down” the existing bottles of standard Springbank. Usually this is done with distilled source water so you can begin to imagine the impact of mixing in 30 to 36 year old scotch instead. The result is a simply amazing “12 Year Old” single malt from Springbank. It tastes nothing like Springbanks on the shelf now. If you see one you almost have to buy it. At least buy it for me. :)
Rating: Must Buy

Event Notice: Bruichladdich Tasting @ Mac McGee

Bruichladdich Tasting
led by the lovely Erika Turchin
Tuesday, October 28th @ 7:30 p.m.

On Tuesday October 28th at 7.30 p.m., Mac McGee in Decatur will conduct a Bruichladdich Tasting hosted by Erika Turchin.
We will enjoy the pleasure of learning about all the amazing flavors of Bruichladdich:  The Octomore, The Laddie Ten, Port Charlotte Heavily Peated, Islay Barley Rockside Farm and Scottish Barley. There is limited seating so please RSVP to macmcgees@gmail.com The cost for the tasting will be $41. We look forward to seeing you. Slainte!

Old Pulteney 35 Year

Old Pulteney Single Malt Scotch Whisky Aged 35 Years
42.5% ABV
What the Distillery Says:
The embodiment of our Distillery’s exceptional craftsmanship, this new expression is matured in American ex-bourbon and Spanish ex-sherry casks which have been expertly hand selected by our Distillery Manager, Malcolm Waring. The eye catching detail and design of the limited edition reflects our rich maritime heritage, which includes a stunning wooden box with porthole revealing the unique Old Pulteney bottle which carries the classic herring drifter, which has become a symbol of the brand.

Colour: Light amber

Nose: The initial wave of honey sweetness, exotic spices and citrus is followed by fruit cake and bitter chocolate. Over time gentle undertones open up with hints of fresh vanilla and sticky toffee pudding. A truly indulgent whisky on the nose enriched and fabulously balanced by the long maturation.

Palate: Full bodied and bursting with attitude. This exceptional dram is sweet and spicy and quickly develops a range of signature Old Pulteney flavours from honey, rum soaked raisins and Californian oranges to the heavier notes of seasoned leather, pralines and a touch of the salty North Sea air. A slow long finish with gentle waves of dried fruit and silky tannins.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Lovely “old scotch” nose of rich oiled leather, fine pipe tobacco, cinnamon candies, and dried apricots.
Palate: Viscous but not chewy. Candied nuts, baking spices, and salted caramels. It’s a bit odd on the palate because it doesn’t stick around. It hits and then is gone. It’s a short palate even when left in the mouth for a bit.
Finish: Licorice, cigar tobacco, a light saltiness, and a little wood but less than expected. The finish is relatively short too.
Comments: This is an exceptionally delicious dram. I don’t often get the chance to drink 35 year old scotch but the taste for it is acquired with dangerous speed. The Old Pulteney DNA gets a little muddled after so many years but hints of the sea air are transformed into salted caramels on the palate and a dusting of salt on the finish. Really, my only complaint is the brevity of the palate and finish on this terrific dram. It’s too rare and expensive to keep downing drams to hold onto the flavor. I wish it lingered a bit more.
Rating: Must Try

We would like to thank The Thomas Collective and International Beverage for sending us a sample for review.

Old Pulteney Clipper

Old Pulteney Clipper Single Malt Scotch Whisky
46% ABV
What the Distillery Says:
The Limited Edition Old Pulteney Clipper Commemorative bottle launched in July 2014. Only 2,700 cases of 6 available world-wide. Matured in ex bourbon and ex sherry casks.

Colour: Polished gold
Nose: Sweetness of dried fruits and crispiness of green apples is accompanied by notes of fresh vanilla and white chocolate.
Palate: Waves of honey and orange zest, a rounded oaky structure and an unmistakable coastal note which sets Old Pulteney apart. Smooth and long-lasting.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Meaty with a wisp of sea air. Deeper exploration brings up oatmeal crisp cookies and citrus zest.
Palate: More cinnamon oatmeal cookies eaten by the shore while the salty sea air washed over you. It’s a nice rich flavor in the mouth.
Finish: A lovely note of brown sugar cookies fading to slow oak and intense malty and salty notes.
Comments: I’ve been a bit dubious on not age statement (NAS) single malts lately. My forthcoming Dark Origins review will not be kind. But this isn’t bad at all. It’s a nice malt that ventures out a little but doesn’t lose a solid core. The cookie notes are very nice but it tends to be overly malty and salty. I don’t think I would buy a bottle but it’s worth a try in bar.
Rating: Average

We would like to thank The Thomas Collective and International Beverage for sending us a sample for review.