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Springbank 12 Year Old Cask Strength

Brine time

0 1289

@TheConscienceReview by @TheConscience

15th Dec 2014

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    89

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

My first Springbank, and I was mightily impressed. Needs water, though. And I rarely add water to whisky.

Nose: light smoke, creamy peat, dark honey, brine, and a hint of vanilla.

Palate: soft and creamy for such high ABV. Sweet, creamy peat; honey; brine; and spices. Without water I find it the same but with heightened salinity and more tightly integrated flavours.

Finish: a billow of smoke in the finale (it finally comes forward), then soft briny peat. The finish is very long and warming, with a lingering briny smoke.

These notes were compiled over 10 months and reflect my preference for this dram (a bit of water added).

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12 comments

@Ol_Jas
Ol_Jas commented

So checking our decoder ring, this was batch 3: benswhisky.co.uk/2014/07/…

That's the same one I had about a year ago. I liked it a lot too but I think you got more brine & peat from yours than I did from mine. (And I wanted more.)

Unless you want to go more sherried, I think you picked a difficult starting point to move from in the world of Springbank! Well, I guess Longrows are out there too.

6 years ago 0

@TheConscience
TheConscience commented

I found the brine and peat more pronounced when water was added. I was after this flavour profile as well, but found this whisky to be somewhat more tame (and slightly disappointing) without the addition of water.

I do possess the bewildering capacity to compartmentalize my whisky experiences. As such, this one will not act as a "reference" for my future consumption of Springbank whiskies. Anything goes, for me.

I've also tried Longrow CV, which I loved.

6 years ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

I think batch one was my first bottle. It was great. Batch 2 has been rougher(I think it's what's have now) but still quite enjoyable.

They feel and taste well-made, but I think they may be off-putting to the beginner. Lots of bold flavours, and it takes the bottle a while to settle down.

6 years ago 0

@Pudge72
Pudge72 commented

I'm a fan of the couple of Springbank bottles, including this one, that I have tried to date. Longrow CV is a winner for me too. Like TheConscience and Nozinan, it is the mix of bold (and varied/unique) flavours that make the Springbank distillery special.

6 years ago 0

@TheConscience
TheConscience commented

@Nozinan Agreed that they might be a challenge for a beginner. Even this batch I found to be, initially, a bit rough (too sour), but this subsided quite quickly. I would have liked to keep this bottle around longer to see how the flavours develop, but the remaining contents were lapped greedily by various house guests.....

@Pudge The bold flavours are definitely attractive. I have a bottle of Hazelburn as well, but it's not my favourite dram of the three from Springbank that I've sampled.

6 years ago 0

@Ol_Jas
Ol_Jas commented

@TheConscience, can you comment more on why you like Hazelburn less? Too tame or mild relative to Springbank and Longrow, maybe?

I've never tasted Hazelburn and I'm not really all THAT interested in it, but I love the Springbank ethos and I'm sometimes tempted by a Hazelburn when I need a non-peater.

6 years ago 0

@Pudge72
Pudge72 commented

@OlJas...I have tried and reviewed the Hazelburn 8 yo. I enjoyed it, but it is quite different from Springbank and Longrow. Non-peated, triple distilled puts the profile of the Hazelburn much closer to a pot still Irish whiskey, imho. If you're a fan of "traditional" Irish whiskey, you should enjoy Hazelburn 8 yo.

6 years ago 0

@TheConscience
TheConscience commented

@OlJas, Hazelburn 8 loses me on the palate. The nose is ok, but there is a dull sugary sweetness that combines with a grassy profile and a crisp buzziness on the palate that doesn't do it for me. I actually do not find it mild or tame, despite the absence of peat, and triple distillation. I think it stands up well in terms of its distinctness compared to other malts, but it is not anywhere near as bold or as distinct as Springbank CS or Longrow.

It's certainly competent, but I don't find myself reaching for it when looking for a dram.

Thanks for additional input, @Pudge72. I'll know to avoid Irish whisky in the future!

6 years ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@theconscience

Have you tried one of the finished CS expressions? I really enjoyed the Claret wood and am looking forward to trying the calvados wood.

6 years ago 0

@TheConscience
TheConscience commented

@Nozinan, a tale of missed opportunities! The LCBO once carried some finished Springbanks (the Claret wood, and others), but these were available at a time when I really could not afford to drink whisky. I was recently abroad and nearly purchased the Gaja Barolo finished Springbank. Opted for a 22 year old Caol Ila instead. They are on my radar and I really would like to try them since I typically hear only good things about them. Do you plan to post a review or your thoughts about the calvados wood? I am also curious about this one.

6 years ago 0

@Ol_Jas
Ol_Jas commented

@TheConscience, do you find the Hazelburn to be especially salty? "Salty" is one aspect I often seek in whisky but rarely find to my satisfaction. I read one random review lately (no idea where, now--I was just clicking around various sites) that said Hazelburn had all the other Springbank & Longrow characteristics stripped away to reveal the raw saltiness that underlies everything Springbank. Any merit to that idea?

6 years ago 0

@TheConscience
TheConscience commented

@OlJas, salty is not a characteristic I would associate with Hazelburn so, according to my palate, that assessment would have little merit. There is something buzzy on the palate, but it's not briny or salty.

6 years ago 0

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