By the way, welcome to the forum.
Bulkington wrote:. Did Springbank deem "100 Proof" signature enough an expression to prefer to dilute it from 57% to 50% abv for the American market rather than alter the marketing power of the label?
Missing? Nothing, two different bottlings, one for the North American market and one for the rest of mankind.
Bulkington wrote:Well I'm not sure what to make of that. First and foremost I'm surprised this isn't more remarked upon, but secondly, while I feel kind of cheated in the wake of this revelation, I'm not sure I should. I tend to find cask strength bottlings a bit much, and prefer not to add water, so maybe Springbank is providing me with something I might wish I could aquire but couldn't if I were in the UK.
This happens regularly with other bottles too due to local laws, regulations or customs so but don't feel cheated. What counts is the taste and if you like it then you have lost nothing. In Ireland alcohol is taxed by abv so years ago when we were being sold Jameon at 40% the rest o the world was getting it at 43%. I think it is all sold at 40% abv now though.
Springbank must have had to weigh the costs: significantly change the label, product identity, and marketing of the 100 Proof for the North American market (thus probably also generating unwanted product confusion: "why do you offer this in the UK and not in the US?"; "Why do you offer this in the US and not in the UK?") or prepare a different bottling and change the label only to reflect the reduced abv%. I suppose the latter makes more sense: consistent product identity while the abv discrepancy slips under most drinkers' radars.
What other expressions do you prefer? I'm fairly new to single malts, so I haven't experienced for myself the Springbank decline I keep reading about. The only Springbank I've tried and been disappointed with (particularly relative to the others) is the Springbank 10. I've yet to try the 15; the older expressions are way out of my price range. I like the 100 Proof, as I've said; I've also acquired a bottle of the 175th anniversary bottling and of the 12 yr (I think) bourbon cask, both of which are my prefered expressions so far.... And I've had the Longrow 10, which I also like.
I've heard from others in this forum that some time ago Springbank expressions benefitted from the use of older whisky in their single malts.
Now, I haven't tasted any older Sprinbanks partly due to the rarity but also the price you have to pay for older 21yo etc.
However, the present 10yo 100 Proof is in my opinion a very good single malt and has a certain "sour" smoke character I have only detected in Port Ellens before. My speculation is that it could have something to do with the "manual" peating process as opposed to the fully automatic/mechanised you see in Port Ellen Maltings today.
I feel it's a bit unfair to suggest that Sprinbank is a bad or not top notch single malt. True, it may not taste as it used to but it is objectively not worse than any other iconic single malt in the market. If your preferences include a big explosive mouthfeel then the 100 Proof will do nicely. And I'd say they're worth the money too.
Otherwise I think I've just read comments here and there in the same vein.
Looking forward to trying the 15; will be getting a bottle of the Longrow 100 Proof soon. I think I prefer bourbon aging to sherry, and the Springbank and Longrow 100 Proofs, I believe, are matured in all bourbon casks.
Thanks for the comments.
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