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Springbank 12 Year Old Cask Strength

Toffee shop goodies, near the coast

0 1092

LReview by @Lifewaterforce

17th Jan 2015

0

  • Nose
    24
  • Taste
    23
  • Finish
    23
  • Balance
    22
  • Overall
    92

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

My first taste of Springbank 12 was, in 2011 at a Springbank tasting (batch unknown) but i decided as i had fallen totally for the style of whisky that the Campbeltown legendary was producing, i fetched me my own bottle of 12 year old cask strength. This was the batch 5.

Nose: Natural toffees (like opening the box of home-made toffees in a family-owned candy shop) Caramel sauce with a complex barley-sugar note interlacing within the caramel richness. Greatest toffee complexity i have ever whitnessed in a malt. A coastal, tangy, salty peat (very understated but very well integrated) Some equally subtle, salty, sweet and sour sherry notes, these give way to a wonderful aromatic red berry mix.

Palate: A smoky wave of small but articulate peat with a salty springbank note and some coconut oil with treacle. Natural caramel colas with vanilla cream. Slight strawberry note with sultanas followed by a wonderfull spiciness. After oxidation this spiciness is as gentle as a grandmothers hand on your cheek. A gentle sweet baking spice nature to it. Cardamom mainly with cinammon, but cumin is also apparent.

Finish: The coastal nature of springbank comes back with the natural toffee caramels. The oak has a say with some vanilla and lingering mixed berries, sweet liquorice, pineapple and oranges.

Absolutely wonderful stuff, one of the best springbanks i have ever tasted, and i have tasted over 10 varieties now (including the 18 and 21 year old) this is in the top 3, really quite impressive the quality displayed batch after batch of this 12 year old. The tasting notes here are from late 2013, so now that i have tasted batch number 9 i will review that one soon to compare.

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10 comments

@Ol_Jas
Ol_Jas commented

Ah—so you've got the batch 9? That's the one I've been looking for since Serge reviewed it in such appealing terms. (This was the subject of my "Springbank 12 CS Batches" thread a few weeks ago.) I'm looking forward to seeing your review.

4 years ago 0

Lifewaterforce commented

Thanks for the kind words OlJas! Yup i got my notes prepared :) I haven't read Serge's review, i'll be sure to check it out, and your thread on Springbank's 12 CS. Cool avatar btw, i am actually reading through the Silmarillion again now as i am tasting these great whiskies. Good times, winter need not be dull ;)

4 years ago 0

@Ol_Jas
Ol_Jas commented

Lifewaterforce, I'm not pulling up what Serge said at the moment, but his language was all in the realm of old garages and flinty dirty earthy stuff, as I recall, and not nearly no much about sweet stuff. Dirty Springbank is for me! I usually consider his blog entertainment rather than buying advice, but this was an exception.

The bottle in my current unopened hoard that I'm maybe most excited about--despite not being close to being the most expensive--is the now-discontinued 100 Proof. Salty seaweedy lowtidy Springbank, as I recall from the one other bottle I had a few years ago. Perfect!

Winter + Tolkien + great whisky sounds just about perfect to me. And fire. In fact, it's what I look forward to through all the hot sweaty months. You're the first one to comment on my JRRT avatar thing, by the way. I sometimes wonder whether people think it's some kind of freaky-deaky alien thing or who knows what. I've always loved his monogram and I've copied it for my own (JRRT > JRC), which I use on any art projects and the like that I somehow find time for.

Since you're RE-reading The Silmarillion, it should be no spoiler to say my favorite moment is Hurin's stand against the troll-guard of Gothmog in defense of Turgon's retreat: "Aure entuluva! Day shall come again!"

4 years ago 0

Lifewaterforce commented

Yes!! That is an epic moment! Which is why, when me& my friends discuss on what else from Tolkien's world could be made into film, I strongly suggest the tale of Hurin. As the Silmarillion is a reconstitution of earlier and later works from Tolkien. My brother (who is a fellow Tolkien fan) finished reading "The children of Hurin" which goes into the events of that lineage more deeply, a lineage that connects the elves of belleriand with the first men of belleriand (Beor), the haladin (2nd house) and starts the greatest lines of the new men (dunedain, gondor, etc).

Hurin is an epic character, with a tragic end. Turgon is just a badass elven king, and his city is a place i would love to see someone try and recreate on the big screen.

On a whisky note, review of the batch 9 coming early next week :)

4 years ago 0

@Ol_Jas
Ol_Jas commented

If you pick up The Children of Hurin yourself, try to get one of the editions illustrated by Alan Lee. Good stuff.

4 years ago 0

@BARutledge
BARutledge commented

Great notes! I was in Boston this last weekend and picked up a bottle of the SB 12yr CS. Can't wait to give it a try!

The only number I found that looked like it could be a batch # is printed on the glass at the front bottom of the bottle... "14/277". I am guessing this means I have either 14 or 277? Maybe batch 14, bottle 277?

Springbank's are kind of hard to come by where I am, this is my first bottle...

4 years ago 0

@Ol_Jas
Ol_Jas commented

BARutledge, I have no idea what the 14/277 means*, but you can see which batch you have by checking the ABV against this magic decoder ring:

benswhisky.co.uk/2014/07/…

(*Actually, I would guess that means it was bottled on the 277th day of 2014. And if so, I'm curious how that compares with the batch's reputed release date.)

4 years ago 0

@BARutledge
BARutledge commented

Awesome, thanks OlJas! Looks like I have batch 9.

4 years ago 0

Lifewaterforce commented

@BARutledge I am posting my review of batch 9 now in comparison to this batch 5 (sorry OlJas, i have been away from home in over a month, busy times) and all i can say is: You won't be dissapointed ;)

4 years ago 0

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