Whisky Connosr

Springbank 12 Year old Cask Strength Claret Wood

Springbank at its best

5 490

@NozinanReview by @Nozinan

5th Dec 2016


Springbank 12 Year old Cask Strength Claret Wood
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

Show rating data charts

Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

I first tasted this expression in early 2011. I found it a bit challenging. A year later it was one of my favourite whiskies. I'm not sure if it was my palate or how it developed in the bottle, but I gained an appreciation for it. In Calgary over a couple of winters I managed to pick up a couple of bottles here and there of this one-off wine-cask finished Springbank, and believe me, if I could find more I would try to get them.

The second bottle took me less time to warm up to. I opened it in May 2015 with @Victor and his sister, @dramlette, and @paddockjudge. I've had occasional drams from it over the last year and a half and poured tonight's review dram from a gassed bottle, 1/5 full.

I review it in my traditional manner, first neat then adding a capfull (then another in this case) of water to 30 cc pour, waiting, and reviewing again.

Nose: 23/25

Neat - Fresh. Red grapes, thick syrup, mild peat. granny smith apples and cinnamon, cherry juice, and hints of vanilla and strawberry.

Water - The syrup is more prominent, the strawberry fades, but otherwise not much changes.

Taste: 22/25

Neat - slightly hot. sweet and sour arrival. apple, peat, vanilla and caramel. Thick mouthfeel. Very pleasant.

Water - Brings out a richness to the flavour. Dry arrival, fruit in the background (bright not dark).

Finish: 22/25

Sour bitter, long, astringent. Tart apple pie that is less noticeable with water.

Balance: 22/25

The nose promises a little more than the palate delivers. This has a lot of complexity and I'm sure will develop more over the next 1-2 hours as I drink it.

Total sequential score: 89/100

Enjoyment factor adjusted score: 90/100

This is a solid whisky. It has tremendous complexity that grows in the glass and with time in the bottle.

I would not recommend this for beginners as it has too much in it. But once you become more accustomed to different smells and tastes this is a wonderful dram.

Related Springbank reviews


Ol_Jas commented

This is probably the most distinctive whisky I've had*. It's been a couple years now since I poured off a sample and killed my big bottle, but I'm sure I could still instantly spot it in a blind lineup. Sweet & edgy at the same time, nothing like stereotypical sherry bomb. It's probably the one sample in all my little boxes of little bottles that I'm most happy to still have, and I'd snatch up any bottles I found on a retailer's shelf in an instant.

*excepting nasty nasty garbage like Lost Spirits Leviathan.

7 years ago 0

BlueNote commented

I'm itching to get hold of this one. I've never seen a bad review. If the standard 10 and 15 are anything to go by, and I love them both, this one must be a real doozie at cask strength.

I like the extra point for "the enjoyment factor."


7 years ago 1Who liked this?

Nozinan commented

@BlueNote I've started adding the enjoyment factor because sometimes I like something a lot more than its sequential score might suggest.

Unfortunately I very much doubt you'll ever find this in a store. I keep an eye out for it in Calgary if I ever find a new (to me) store, but this stuff was essentially sold out 2 years ago.

7 years ago 0

Ol_Jas commented

In my opinion, every score should be based 100% on the "enjoyment factor."

7 years ago 1Who liked this?