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Springbank 12 YO Claret

Bright Claret Springbank

0 689

@VictorReview by @Victor

8th Nov 2015


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

The reviewed sample is compliments of @Nozinan

Nose: gentle, sweet, high-pitched Claret wine greets first and dominates the nose. Along with the grape there is a little tangerine marmalade. The Springbank brine shows itself but is muted. There is a little bit of peat, mostly gently incorporated in a supporting role. Nice

Water added raises the pitch and the flavours are delivered more sharply and bundled. I like the nose a lot with water

Taste: very bright, very sweet, and very fruity in the mouth. The pitch of the wine flavours is more medium than high in the mouth. You taste peat and brine more than you smelled them. Lovely. Despite this being a Claret Wood finish rather than an Oloroso Sherry finish, the wine flavours here remind me very strongly of Glenmorangie Sonnalta PX, which is always a flattering comparison

With water added, the flavours are broadened, fused, and diluted. This is quite good with a couple of drops of water

Finish: the classic Springbank peat and brine are most noticeable going into the finish. They remain strong while the Claret flavours fade

Water added mellows and homogenises the finish. I prefer the finish with a little water added

Balance: this Springbank 12 Claret Finish is a lovely whisky. I understand why it is quite popular. I consider the delivery to be the highlight

Total Sequential Score: 89/100 points

Strength: moderate strength of flavours in the nose, strong flavours on the palate, moderate flavours on the finish. Score: 22/25 points

Quality: bright beautiful wine, ok brine, ok peat, ok malt. Score 22/25 points

Variety: very adequate variety of flavours, mostly because the wine flavours show some range. Score: 22/25 points

Harmony: good to very good harmony among the flavours. Score: 22/25 points

Total Non-Sequential Score: 88/100 points

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Victor commented

I see I left off the Sequential part scores from the review. They are as follows:

Nose: 22/25 points

Taste: 23/25 points

Finish: 21.5/25 points

Balance: 22.5/25 points

Total Sequential Score: 89/100 points

4 years ago 0

Nozinan commented

Thanks for reviewing this one @Victor. I've not had too many Springbanks but this one is a favourite of mine. If I recall correctly it picked up steam about a year after I opened it but it was always gassed.

It's unfortunate that this expression was a one-off, part of their wood experiments. Only about 9000 bottles released and I was lucky enough to buy a few of them when they could be found in Calgary. My brother in law has one socked away as well.

4 years ago 0

Ol_Jas commented

This is probably the most distinctive (good) whisky that I've had. It has the sweetness of a whisky matured in ex-sherry or ex-wine, but it's sharp, rather than being big and round and deep like a'bunadh or what-have-you.

Here's an abridged paste of my comments on this whisky from another website:

"I call it sharp, fresh, sweet, rich, and sharp (sic). And drying at the end, which I like. And awesome. And, really, unique among all whiskies I’ve had in my career so far (~six years of regular single malt drinking). Granted, I’ve had just a handfull of sherried malts (a’bunadh, Macallan, Benrinnes, Mortlach) and very few other wine-finished malts (Bruichladdich Rocks, some of those Glenorangie things)—but this Springbank Claret is the only one I’ve had from that world that combines the rich sweetness with a pointy sharpness that keeps it from being heavy and dull. I love this. It’s not an everyday bottle for me, but when I need a break from the cheapies and the peaters, nothing’s better.

Springbank continues its streak of producing the only non-peated whiskies that I really get excited about. I really wish I’d been cool enough to grab those other wood finishes from the same era, especially the Madeira.

This was a stellar buy at $80. I’d call it at 89."

4 years ago 0

Nozinan commented

I lucked into a Calvados finish, but I have yet to try it.

4 years ago 0

MadSingleMalt commented

@Nozinan, are you still sitting on a hoard of these?

I wish I was! I came across my sample bottle last night as I packed for an upcoming move, and it took some willpower to not open it then & there and just guzzle away. I'm surprised by my own comments above (from my Ol' Jas days) where I pegged this only at 89. In my memory now, it's like a 95. I guess I'll see what I think when I do open that sample bottle.

2 years ago 0

Nozinan commented

@MadSingleMalt Sadly, not a hoard. I think I purchased 5 in all, 2 are finished. My brother in law had one too.

I think my tastes have changed since I ranked the CW a 90. I think I'd have to go and re-discover it again. Maybe in a year or 2 when some of this open stock has been taken down a notch or 2.

2 years ago 1Who liked this?

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