After nearly twelve years, we Impostors have learned a few things. This despite our best efforts to remain gustatory tabulae rasae. We have learned, for instance, not to serve salt water taffy at whisky tastings, that the angel’s share is not one of St. Anselm’s proofs of god’s existence, and that innuendo about bung holes and copper thieves is not universally funny.
To our great surprise, however, Bill has acquired the uncanny ability to surmise the ABV of whiskies we are tasting blind. The human hydrometer, as we’ve taken to call him, regularly gets the number to within a digit. With this fine dram, however, he was so very wrong that, truth be told, we actually took some comfort that our impostordom was still intact.
This smooth-driving hot rod noses up with balance and winsome charm. Green banana peels smoldering in poplar embers. Ritz crackers soaked in Port, then left in a cloisonne dish. Grilled pepitas with just enough plane model glue to hint at the 110.6 proof.
The mouth, I’ll have you know, is even more exciting. Delicious peat and smoke surrounding green pepper sliced on the bias. There’s a high wine note, the kind you associate with a mountaintop monastery after the last vintage is bottled. The monks gather around the fire to enjoy their handiwork though they are warmed by the flames within them.
The finish reminds us of the strength of a sturdy leather saddle, but at the same time it is soft, like coin-purse leather gripped by the hand of an anxious child unable to decide which candies should be selected and placed in the brown bag. We come back through this once again, like pulling a rake across the malting floor. Nose, mouth, finish. Savoring. Studying. Fruit notes creep out of the nose, more light smoke appears on the mouth, and the finish finds us with tobacco leaf-stained hands thrumming with nicotine jangles. The poet has wished that Campbelltown Loch was made of whisky. Our humble addition is that it be filled with this whisky.
On the scale of facts about Andy Stewart–
The Springbank 12 Cask Strength Batch 20 is the fact that he wrote one of his biggest hits in ten minutes–“Donald Where’s your Troosers?” poses the question that Stephen often gets on his end-of-the-year job evaluations. We’re just glad that the good people at Springbank spent 12 years to get this one the way we like it.