What I mean by the title is that this whisky is young - so therefore pretty cheap - but it's bottled at 46% without artificial colour or chill-filtration. No, it's not going to knock your socks off, it's not going to win any awards. But, sometimes I want a good scotch that's cheap! I don't need an award winning scotch every night, but don't make me drink watered-down, artificially coloured junk when I can't or don't want to spend the money on the high-end stuff. So I say, thank you Springbank for offering CV for an affordable price.
Nose: Overall pleasant. Being young, you do detect a fair amount of "spiritiness," but not in a cheap-booze kind of way. More like in a good, young whisky kind of way. There's also some fruitiness reminiscent of red wine. Those two tones dominate the nose: grain and fruit. Adding depth are briny notes and a hint of smoke. The smoke gains traction as the dram goes down and is most detectable in the empty glass. This isn't an award winning nose, but still all pleasant and worth nosing.
Palate: An excellent, thick, and textured mouthfeel. Very spirity once again in that it does attack the tongue. No awards for smoothness, but I'll take a feisty whisky over smooth any day of the week! There is not a huge flavor density to this whisky, but the flavors mirror the nose with grain, red-wine fruit, and brine being the dominant sensations and smoke along for the ride.
Finish: Fruit, brine, and a little smoke. The only real "off" note in the whisky appears in the finish; a slight sour note like buttermilk. Not enough to bother me, but enough to hold this whisky back from competing with the top-tier 10-12 year old malts (this does, however, beat many low- and mid-tier 10-12 year malts!).
Overall if I were to compare Springbank CV to something that is more ubiquitous, I would compare it to Highland Park 12 (one of my favorites). It has better zip and mouthfeel than HP12, but lacking in flavor density with less fruitiess than HP12. Overall, despite the "craft" presentation that I love and that really makes a difference (i.e. 46%, no colour, no chill-filter), it's really not as good as HP12. I paid less for this than I do for HP12, and at that price I would buy it again. If I had to pay the same price as HP12 or more, I would probably pass unless I was just really looking to support a classy distillery like Springbank.