Saturday, 10 September 2011

Proof reading: Springbank 100 and Glenfarclas 105 Proof

My source of true happiness
I am someone who enjoys a certain robust-ness (if I can coin the word) about life. I've always trekked, climbed and crawled through the Great Outdoors, I like hearty rustic meals and I drink whisky (cue nodding approval). Of course, this is not to say I don't enjoy the finer things in life, like fine cuisine; wines of the Loire valley; and newsnight, but nothing brings me home like rain; bangers and mash; and a glass of cask-strength whisky. The immediate assumption that can and maybe should be made is that I am over-compensating. A scrawny lad inclined towards trivia and unable to drive testosterone enhancing cars needs something to bolster his faltering masculinity. Hanging from ropes and swigging Scotch might seem like a pathetic attempt at a fetish lifestyle, but it is my hook. The thing I hang my somewhat bookish and overly-curious lifestyle on. The thing is if you tell someone over a massive pub lunch that you throw your life to the hands of Fate as a hobby whilst simultaneously chucking back Scotch like the tomorrow you implore you will never experience you can just about compensate for a failure to understand what Manchester United is.

The problem with this mindset is that I become more and more inclined to do stupid things for the sake of respect from men who can place a spherical object at the back of a net, whilst drinking stronger and stronger whisky whenever possible to show off my liver's ab muscles. The day when I finally combine the two could be quite interesting. So... what is it about cask-strength whiskies that appeal so much aside from their testosterone enhancing properties? Well for me they add weight to a whisky, if you drink a cask strength whisky you tend to know about it. The flavour hammers you like a mallet made of lead. Better still that higher ABV pulls the flavour through with a rabid intensity. But I think what is most appealing is attempting to identify flavours through a haze of spirit. Today's review is the Springbank 100 proof and the Glenfarclas 105 proof. Two 10 year old cask strength whiskies offering very different things. Now pass the toad-in-the-hole and that kayak.

Springbank 100 Proof
57% - 10 Years Old
Nose: Butterscotch and marzipan accompany the rhubarb and grape I get from all Springbank whiskies, with a dash of dried apricot and a whiff of tobacco to finish.
Palate: Dried apricots, peat and spice layer on top of burnt toffee notes.
Finish: Robust and going down fighting, a hot mix of toffee and smoked chili.
Overall: This whisky tastes like Springbank invaded. Every thing I could want from Springbank with a fierce heat to match. Now I just need to get some of the 12 year cask strength...

Glenfarclas 105 Proof
60% - 10 Year Old
Nose: Elderflower and caramel give way to chocolate raison and then to fruit bowl notes with an organic freshness present throughout.
Palate: Very alcoholic, honey and malt with a clear sherry presence, takes to water very well.
Finish: A blend of sherry and mead, becoming silky when water is added bringing out lemony notes.
Overall: Big, fresh and fruity, I think this high ABC beast actually benefits from plenty of water, does my manhood hang in the balance because of this dastardly confession?

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