Murray McDavid Springbank Tasting Notes

Posted: September 19, 2011 in Scotch Whisky H-Z, Springbank

Murray McDavid Springbank 1996 (7 year old at the time of tasting)


Tasted: Directly from the cask in 2003

This cask was simply stunning when you consider that it is only seven years old. Those of you that know me will be aware of my fondness for this distillery. Tangy, fruity and rich on the nose with a touch of peat. Medium-rich with linseed oil, glycerine and angelica notes. 

The palate was remarkably smooth, and classically Springbank (i.e. Woody!). Initially fruity and clean with a slight sherry note, opening into a full blown saline experience and a touch of peat. Very long and clean.

Murray McDavid Springbank 1991 (8 year old) 46%

Refill Sherry Cask MM1829/ Dist: Nov 1991 Btl: Feb 2000/ Tasted Nov 2002

A delicate nose of sea, salt, malt, oil and sherry with undertones of seaweed and medicinal peat. The palate is oily with plenty of sea-salt and sherry. For all it’s powerful attack it is a tad on the young side and lacks complexity. Good length though with the customary salty finish. 

Murray McDavid Springbank 1992 (12 year old) 46%

Finished in ex-Mourvedre and Syrah casks/ Dist: 1992 Btl 2004/ Tasted: June 2006

If I was to sum this whisky up in one word…. It would be…… feminine. It has a very floral nose, almost like a rose wine, yet underneath there is some herbal malt, a touch of earthiness and some salinity.

On the palate it tastes younger than 12 years old. It opens with lots of spicy red fruit, soft succulent malt, a touch of earthy cereal (showing its youth?), followed by coffee, herbs and salinity. Finishing with the spicy fruit returning. The palate is quite sweet but nicely balanced. This one is definitely for the ladies! 

Murray McDavid Springbank 1990 (12 years old at the time of tasting)


Tasted: Directly from cask in 2003

The nose on this cask of Springbank was intensly oily ,slightly spicy and appeared to be quite young and spirity, yet pure and full of complex creamy fruit flavours. The palate was rich and incredibly saline, in fact my notes ready thus – rich, quite soft, very salty, vanilla, ripe fruit, salty middle (very), intense, warming, very long, tangy, very salty. Oh and a hint of peat at the end!

Murray McDavid Springbank 1965 (34 year old) 46%

Refill Sherry (?)/ Dist 1965 Btl: 1999/ Tasted: Dec 2002

An intense and richly malted nose with sherry laced fruit cake, salt and overtones of vanilla/ crème brulee. A stunning, full on palate with a huge depth of tangy, rich dried fruit intermingled with sherry, salt and cream. The Campbeltown salts build into an incredibly windswept and salty middle and fade gently into a warm, exotic spiced finish. Wow! 

Murray McDavid Springbank 2000 (9 year old) 46%

Bourbon – Chateau Y’quem/ Dist: 2000 Btl: 2009/ Tasted: Feb 2010

Expansive and loaded with honey of the herbal variety. Another dram where the cask and the spirit go head-to-head. The complexity is mind boggling, one minute it’s earthy and fishy, the next the cask retaliates with ginger biscuit and sweet, slightly candied dried grapes. All the while the briny notes begin to build with some late earthy-peat and liquorice. Yet another car crash of a nose. A curious but morbidly engrossing sort of nose. 

The palate opens with the sweet earthy-pat, hickory and wood spices followed by tons of brine and fish notes, then comes the sweet grape and tannins. A very fishy and bog myrtly Springbank with an exceedingly coal dust middle. The finishing cask stays firmly in the background and like the nose it is a curious, yet intriguing combination. Great intensity and length with a real salty kipper finish. A dram for breakfast with your Arbroath smokies? There’s even a touch of Costa Rican coffee in the after taste for good measure! Phew it’s all a bit rock ‘n’ roll as they say!


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