Springbank 12 Year Old is the Cask Strength expression in the core range, and I must say my appreciation has grown with recent batches.
For the 2019 release the recipe has changed: it is now 50% sherry and 50% bourbon cask while it used to be 70% sherry, so let’s check out what this means for its profile.
Update: the 2020 edition is going even further: 35% sherry and 65% bourbon cask…
Springbank 12 yo ‘Cask Strength’ (57,1%, OB 2019)
Nose: there’s soot, salted liquorice, lemon and hints of oat cookies. Also maritime peat with a touch of graphite and pepper. Fresh leather, traces of banana and marzipan. Whiffs of oregano. Chalky notes. Just a light hint of coffee in the background.
Mouth: again very maritime, with similar leathery notes, including a subtle dryness. Plenty of linseed oil, yellow apples and lemons, earthy pepper and salted caramel. Just a hint of vanilla and coconut. Brine and salted nuts. Mint and bay leaf.
Finish: long, coastal, medicinal and peppery.
This seems much cleaner and leathery than previous batches, with less (dirty) smoke and less depth. The recipe has definitely changed and Springbank purists may call this less classic. Hard to find but Master of Malt and TWE already have the 2020 edition.