At some blurry point in my personal whisky history I decided it would be a good idea to start collecting something specific. I decided it would be the Lagavulin 12 releases, but more on that in a later post. It also would be all batches of Springbank 12 Cask Strength.
This latter choice was the more viable one, since they’re not overly rare and not overly expensive. However, I decided a while ago that I wouldn’t continue this, mostly because I couldn’t be arsed to take money out of other stuff to buy the Springbanks.
The result of this revelatory decision was that I could use the three bottles I already had in a bottle share to collect some then much needed dough. Also, I could review them on my blog. Because I needed more tasting notes to type out (not…).
The bottle that made me make the initial decision to collect was a 2013 batch that was reviewed here. The ones that follow are a 2012 and 2014 release, batch 5 and 9 respectively.
Springbank 12, Cask Strength, Batch 5, 2012, 52.2%
On the nose there’s a sharp edge with some fiery, flinty notes. It’s rather funky (as it should be) with wet-and-then-dried paper, soil and wood pulp. Some dusty hessian/jute and mushrooms.
The palate is very consistent with the nose, and the flavors found make this a rather typical Springbank. At least for the 12 year old Cask Strengths. The sharp edge is gone, and it’s slightly more focused on the funky, mushroom like notes. Still rather dirt-y with notes of wood pulp too.
The finish shows a bit more oak, and in a more typical way too. Not the pulp, but casks. A hint of vanilla shows up, but the mushrooms and dirt are not gone.
Well, this is exactly what you could hope for! I expect a bit of a dirty, lightly sherried Springbank when I open a bottle of the 12 year old Cask Strength and this delivers exactly that. I don’t think there’s much at this price point that is better. Especially when it was released at some 50-60 bucks.
Springbank 12, Cask Strength, Batch 5, 2012, 52.2%. Available for about 75 euros in Italy
Springbank 12, Cask Strength, Batch 9, 2014, 54.3%
The second on is a bit more careful on the funk. Slightly more cask focused, so to say. There’s still jute and mushrooms, but also some more clear sherry notes, with pecans and walnuts. Some barbecue char, barked pork and a hint of vegetable stock.
The palate is quite dry with a lot of oaky texture. The flavor is slightly moldy after a while, with some oaky notes too. Some earthy flavors, with the walnuts and pecans.
The finish is quite gentle and fades rather quickly. There’s nuts and sherry, with oak and soil.
This one is a bit more complicated than the first one. I opened the bottle and am far from disappointed, although I realize it’s not the best of the bunch. Actually, it’s the least impressive of the three Springers. Still, very high quality for the 60 odd euros it cost back in the day.
Springbank 12, Cask Strength, Batch 9, 2014, 54.3%. Available in the secondary market for little over 90 euros.