Expression: Cask Strength
Age Statement: 12 years old
I don’t own or review many Springbanks. My first and last tasting note of Springbank on this blog dates back more than 3½ years (!). However, I’ve really gotten reacquainted with this brand of late. When I think about it, it has everything I like in a whisky brand; independence, in-house production ethics, non-chill filtered expressions and no added colouring. I’m really not sure what took me so long to get back to this and give it another try. That’s how these things go sometimes I suppose, but I’m so glad I did. Today I’m reviewing one of the favourites among Springbank fans; The 12 year old Cask Strength. This is batch 10, out of the 12 that have been released to date.
Nose: Typical light peat. Clear sherry notes. Salty and oily. With water it gets fruitier; lemon and lime, but also some ‘dirty’ fruit. Like over-ripe pineapple and, weirdly, even durian. Now for the even weirder stuff; rotting wood and cow stable. I mean no disrespect, though. Acrid may be a more decent way of putting it. It’s interesting though, that’s for sure.
Taste: Ashy, bitter spice and liquorice. Wet wood, sour lemons and dark, black tea. Orange fruit now and burnt sugar hints. Tobacco even. Much to enjoy here.
Finish: Long and warm. The peat, I feel, is most obvious here. Cigar smoke, cedar wood and something muddy or earthy. Liquorice and salt again, with the fruits really in the background now.
Overall: So this is big stuff, and I think I can appreciate it much more now than I used to. This may have something to do with this not being an entry-level type of whisky. So, for people just starting out, this might be a bit too much. However, now that I’m a more experienced boozer, I can really find many things to enjoy in this. Good stuff!
4 stars (86-90 range)