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Springbank 12 Year Old Cask Strength

Does Success Really Breed Contempt?

8 989

@RianCReview by @RianC

26th Feb 2023


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

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!

Related Springbank reviews


Nozinan commented

I haven’t tried the Springbank CS since they increased the ratio of bourbon casks. I have a little left from my last bottle, and I do have a recent batch, thanks to @fiddich1980, that I will likely open next.

There was a time when you could pluck these off the shelf in Calgary. I miss those days. Do I regret not picking up a few more? On the one hand, of course, on the other, in those days there were so many bottles that we now identify as “must have”.

22 days ago 5Who liked this?

OdysseusUnbound commented

Thanks for your review. While I don't think I've tasted this particular batch, I agree that the ratio sounds about right. Springbank has such a great and unique distillate that I don't think it should be drowned in, er, I mean "enhanced" with too many first fill sherry casks.

22 days ago 4Who liked this?

Nozinan commented


Are you suggesting that Springbank is too timid to take some wine cask influence? Them’s fighting words!

As I mentioned I haven’t tried the more recent batches, but I can assure you the older ones I tried, the ones with more Sherry influence, were fantastic. In addition the claret wood and calvados wood expressions are excellent.

It looks like you need some samples to set you straight… stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye

22 days ago 4Who liked this?

OdysseusUnbound commented

@Nozinan I rather enjoyed my SB 15, which I think was entirely sherry matured. That said, I tend to prefer a more subtle sherry influence. Maybe I'm the one who's too delicate. stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye Samples sound great...if only I had time to catch up and give the ones I already have the attention they deserve.

22 days ago 4Who liked this?

RianC commented

@OdysseusUnbound - it's all down to personal tastes, really, but I agree that Springbank seems to work better with less sherry and more bourbon influence.

22 days ago 3Who liked this?

Wierdo commented

@Nozinan I'm not the only one who looks back a few years and think 'damn it why didn't I grab that second bottle' then joy

21 days ago 4Who liked this?

Victor commented

@Wierdo it is a difficult calculus to conclude whether today's opportunities are likely to be there tomorrow. Sometimes circumstances in this world change slowly and sometimes they change very quickly. .

21 days ago 5Who liked this?

Wierdo commented

@Victor I've learned the hard way that if you really like a bottle and are thinking of getting a back up. If it's still available at a sensible price then go ahead and get the back up.

I've never regretted buying a back up bottle. But I have regretted NOT buying a back up.

20 days ago 2Who liked this?

Nozinan commented


When I was starting out if I thought I might need a backup I would buy two, because I didn’t know when I would get to the first one.

I have parted ways with many second bottles since…

20 days ago 1Who liked this?

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