Three Very Special Whiskies
By Franz Scheurer
I have written about the Campbelltown whisky area and the Springbank distillery http://www.classic.com.au/wizard/campbeltown.htm and Speyside’s Glen Keith http://www.classic.com.au/wizard/GlenKeith.htm before, but having had the chance to compare three of their best whiskies I want to tell you about these gems.
In the latest shipment BWS Parkside’s April Lewis Christie has imported is a Springbank 14 y/o Single Malt, cask strength (52.5%) Port Wood finish, a Longrow 14 y/o Single Malt, 46% (made in the same distillery as Springbank) and a Connoisseurs Choice Glen Keith, distilled 1967 bottled 2003, 46% Speyside Malt. Each one of these is a superb expression of its heritage and extremely good value for money.
Springbank 14 y/o Port Wood Finish
Colour: Burnished gold with a reddish hue.
Nose: Closed at first, opening to banana and ripe, red cherries.
Palate: Malty with a strong alcohol bite, slowly softening and melting into sweet honey and grassy hemp and hay flavours with a touch of Angostura. Bitters, creating an austere, balanced sweetness.
Finish: Long, sweet and alluring.
Comment: A wonderfully rounded, sweet whisky. The perfect winter dram.
Longrow 14 y/o
Colour: Amber with a green tinge.
Nose: Immediate peat and iodine hit with tar and greasy ship’s ropes.
Palate: Surprisingly salty, sea-weedy and full of ocean flavours with herbaceous notes and a dry, resiny grip on the back palate.
Finish: Quite short and very dry.
Comment: Easily mistaken as an Islay, this fabulously maritime, peaty whisky shows strength of character and conviction. I wish they would make more of this!
Glen Keith Distilled: 1967 bottled: 2003
Colour: Dark mahogany.
Nose: Cigar box softened by Demerara sugar with sour cherry and dried apricots.
Palate: First perceived caramel, heather and cedar notes slowly turn into Cognac-like rancio notes with the wood predominating, showing off an incredibly textured, layered mouth feel.
Finish: Long, woody, satisfying and mellow. Bring me a cigar!
Comment: A whisky that has not suffered from prolonged time in oak. Although most of the floral and fruity notes have long since evaporated, the depth of its texture and wood-governed complexity makes this one of the best aged whiskies around.
Note: All three die instantly with the addition of water and in the case of the Springbank it turns unappealingly bitter. These whiskies must be drunk neat.
You can order these whiskies from:
Ms. April Lewis-Christie
74 Glen Osmond Road
Parkside SA 5063
Tel.: 08 8272 9796