After Springbank 10's disappointing showing during the conference, this little discovery produced the perfect opportunity to explore whether the CA Scotch Couple had romantized their earlier Springbank 10 experience, or if there really was a difference. They hauled both bottles back out and poured side by side tastes.
The first difference was the color. The pour of Springbank 10 from the earlier bottle was much more yellow than the pour from the conference bottle. The nose also gave evidence of differences. There was more of an iodine smell in the conference bottle. The most striking difference, however, was the taste. The early bottle of Springbank 10 was sweet and complex. With multiple layers of apricot and raisin, just a hint of salt, and absolutely no smoke. The conference bottle had no depth at all, and the predominate tastes were salt and smoke.
While the CA Scotch Couple were sampling, Iron Man stopped by to drop off some documents. Of course, the CA Scotch Couple had to subject him to a blind taste test. Without identifying the whiskys, they poured and had him sample. His assessments were right along the lines of theirs, and, in fact, he refused to believe that the two samples were of the same whisky until the CA Scotch Couple poured him a little from the bottles.
Yes, batch variation is a big part of what makes single malt whisky interesting, and the Scotch Chix have encountered it before. However, they have never experienced it quite to this extreme. It will be interesting to see how future bottles of Springbank 10 taste.