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Springbank 12 Year Old Cask Strength

Excellent sherry/peat combo

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@valuewhiskyReview by @valuewhisky

5th Jan 2013


Springbank 12 Year Old Cask Strength
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Somewhat surprisingly (to me), this is a heavily-sherried whisky: 60% first-fill sherry cask and 40% refill sherry cask. That's quite a lot of sherry. And you know what? It's delicious with that moderate Springbank peatiness!

Nose: At first whiff this nose doesn't scream "delicious," but persistence pays off here and over the course of the dram, I am addicted to having my nose stuck in the glass. There's sherry aroma, of course, and underneath that you have banana, orange, smoke, and brine. A complex nose for me: one I have to keep thinking about but never quite get my arms around (a good thing!).

Palate: Lots of "zing" from the high proof. Rich, syrupy mouthfeel. Sherry, orange, smoke, and saltiness. Very nice! It's sweet from all the sherry, but the smoke provides the appropriate counterpoint and I find this to have a nice balance.

Finish: The only "off" note in this whisky shows up in the early finish: a funky/sour/puke-like note. Don't get me wrong - it's not a game-changer here, but it does hold this back from being a truly great whisky. The sour puke note lingers on the back of the tongue a bit, but the stronger notes are smoke, and finally getting some oak here in the extended finish.

I really enjoy this whisky. It was a great deal at under $60 (USD). The nose is very intriguing and nice, the palate is delicious and despite the sour finish, it leaves you salivating and ready for more (take another sip to wash away the sour note!). Highly recommended when at a reasonable price. Honestly with the smoke and sherry, this reminds me a bit of Uigeadail. However, Uigeadail is the better whisky so if Springbank approaches Uigeadail prices, then go for the Ardbeg. For me Springbank was $20 less than Uigeadail, and I wouldn't hesitate at all to buy it again at that price.

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Max commented

Very nice review, much like I felt about this whisky. I just opened my bottle and despite my batch being of course different, with just 52,2 ABV, I feel exactly the same about modest nose but great spicy palate and long lasting finish. And yes, there is some off-putting bitter/sour note in the finish. Not a deal breaker though, I think it's delicious whisky indeed!

11 years ago 0

valuewhisky commented

Thanks for the comment, Max! I think the bitter/sour note is characteristic for Springbank; I also noted it in my bottle of CV.

11 years ago 0

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