Taste: Not too unlike the nose, but there are more dairy-like elements in the mouth. I don't always like water in the 12's, but this one needs a bit. Opens up into more tropical and some orchard fruits, steak sauce, talc, Greek yogurt, white pepper, a nice amount of peat for a 12, and a Marathon chocolate bar, complete with caramel.
Finish: medium in length with notes of saltwater taffy, dark chocolate, and more of that nice funky springbank peat. There's an industrial note that is very faint. Reminds me of "penta" wood preservative.
You might find this bottle at auction. I wouldn't pay over 140 pounds for it. If you're wealthy then you might as well go younger than a 12 CS and get yourself a really old label from earlier than the 12 CS series. That would be more interesting, in my book, even though it won't be CS. I got my 12 CS Batch One for $75 back in the day. I still have one unopened bottle left. I think I must have bought four or five of them. At the time, I didn't realize that it would become a regular limited production series. I thought it was just a one-off.
Yes, I've been a huge springbank fan for longer than some of you have been old enough to drink in the USA (21 yrs). I drank my first glass at a pub in Edinburgh when I was 20 years old.
After that, I moved to New York City and always had a bottle in my apartment even though I was earning about $27,000 per year most of the time. I enjoyed the 1980's bottlings more than the 90's bottlings and even back in the early 90's I tried to buy the older bottlings, which weren't very expensive, and sometimes were cheaper!
I'm 52 now. Cheers. This Batch One drinks a bit more like an early 2000's bottling than most of the 12's do these days. Like most whisky, Springbank tends to get better the farther back you go. I've had some 1970's bottlings. Honestly, I think a fairly young Springer from the 1980's drinks better today than back then (today, I'm thinking of the 10 and 12 year olds). I do believe that bottle aging happens. it's not a fantasy and it can certainly improve what was already a good thing. This said, bottle aging can also bring out some nasty notes if the whisky is merely passable at the time it was bottled. Bottle aging tends to make a good thing better and a bad thing worse, IMO. And that's assuming the bottle was stored in favorable conditions, like a cool basement or cellar. Storing a bottle in a garage or a store room that gets above 100 degrees for part of the year and near freezing in winter is never a good thing.
As one closing comment, I would say this Springer has more dairy than any other batch of the 12. I tend to notice dairy notes more than most reviewers. I've been given a very sensitive nose and palate. It wasn't always so. After I was beaten up badly by a biker gang in Middle Village Queens, NY, my nose grew back different. Even though I have a slightly deviated septum, I can smell things that I never was able to smell before. The nerve bundles overcompensated somehow for being open palmed to the point of nearly dying. I guess it was my body's way of fighting to stay alive. I happened to be exiting a bar and was beaten up by one gang initiate who was trying to prove himself and become a full fledged member. I have nothing to do with biker gangs. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and I was big and strong enough (and slightly drunk, let's be honest) to look like a worthy opponent who would go down fast, which I did. In fact, I was waiting for a cab that I had called. As it turned out, I ended up going home with a friend who looked after me. I almost died that night. Life is strange. I guess the old saying is sometimes true: what doesn't kill you makes you stronger . . . or, in my case, more sensitive. I could probably sort out friends in a room and pick them out blindfolded by scent alone with my eyes closed. Believe me, that is not always a good thing. In fact, it's usually not.