Water of Life - Spring Bay single malt whisky
Having had a firm focus on the distilling scene in Tasmania for the longest time, I feel borderline embarrassed to have missed out on one – a feeling that is counteracted with sheer delight when I get to sample a fantastic drop and discover a distillery that so far had not been on my radar.
Case in point: Spring Bay Distillery.
Now, early experimentation of Tasmanian distilleries and Australian ones at large, were a bit of hit and miss, however the ones that managed to calibrate the maturation, produced some phenomenal drops.
Spring Bay can definitely count itself to the second category, which is partly due to its founders, i.e. Cam and Suzy Brett, having a very distinct approach to distilling to achieve desired outcomes, which in terms of nuances takes things to another level. There is always Tasmania’s distinct climate that gives whiskies from the region an idiosyncratic edge, however, with the Spring Bay Bourbon cask a facet of sea saltiness is added that I would have attributed to the complexity of a dram originating from the Campbelltown region in Scotland.
Needless to say that with a telling name like Spring Bar, the local water sources contributes a distinctive note – a factor that many distilleries talk up but a factor that does often not contribute significantly to the overall character.
Clocking in at 46%, what caresses the nostrils is a melange of sweet fruity vanilla that is punctuated in the gentlest manner by the aforementioned sea saltiness. Just when you thought it had peaked, it takes a slight left turn, floral night waft in to culminate in honeyed aromas.
Now, I do like pairing whiskies with chocolate and immensely enjoy the cross-pollination of flavours, and Spring Bay’s Bourbon Cask enhances that experience immensely with its creamy texture that follows what was promised on the nose and accentuates further with savoury oak notes, vanilla chocolate and, again, the beautiful sea salt highlights.
The warming, elongated finish culminates with a smooth mouthfeel in nutty, wakame and oaky woodiness with a saline tang.
Cannot wait to try Spring Bay’s other expressions.