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Thanks to the continued generosity of @wierdo, I am able to sample and enjoy what has become somewhat of a unicorn malt of late - a Springbank 12 cask strength! This is batch 19 (2019), bottled at 57.1% and is composed of 65% Bourbon and 35% Sherry Casks. Shall we begin?
Nose - quite bready and orangey with a little peat, putty and barley sugars.
Taste - big, full-flavoured with more putty, orange zest and a whole basket (bowl?) of stewed fruits. Delightful texture and mouth-feel.
Finish - long with peat, fruit cocktail syrup and some mild tannins.
With almost a full tsp of water to a double pour:
Nose- more twiggy peat and spices, dry cinnamon ad white pepper. Orange oil and a little musty funk appearing. One really could go on and on, much complexity.
Taste - more herbal and savoury, with rock salt, clay/putty notes and sour yellow fruits. Clean, fresh and quaffable!
Finish - the peat comes on in soft, smoky waves. Tannins and a little mouth coating, sticky fruitiness builds.
One kind of expects to enjoy these bottlings but this one is nothing short of a delight! I think they got the sherry to bourbon ratio spot on and it shows the distillate off to a tee. I would say amazing value - well it was back then - but the current market makes getting one of these currently, for the rrp, a very, very unlikely scenario. Still, here I am, sipping on a gifted sample so I shouldn't complain too much! I guess this was somewhat inevitable and the success is nothing short of what the distillery deserves. Damn it!