Springbank 12-year-old

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Cask Strength
Stated Age
12 years old
45% Sherry, 25% Bourbon, 25% Burgundy 5% Port
Batch 21
Number of bottles
56.1 % Vol.
700 ml
Bottle code
08.10.20 20/127
Added on
29 Oct 2020 7:02 pm by Erik Elixir
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredCask Strength

Average value

£ 118.63

97 × in wishlist

279 × member ratings

888 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Springbank 12-year-old

67 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 88.04 points

  1. Archer scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    The color alone: almost red. The barrel composition of Batch 21 is something completely different: 45% sherry, 25% bourbon, 25% burgundy 5% port. Usually sherry and bourbon barrels are used in different proportions. But wine and port are currently in vogue (see the 2020 Laphroaig Cairdeas), and Springbank may not stand out from that either. The nice thing about the Springbank 12 CS: every batch is different, offers different focuses, and is always good. And the little exotic barrel is no exception: sweeter and fruity than its predecessors, a slight delay in terms of minerality and dirt, again a small whisky highlight in its category.
    • Nose
      89 89
      A well-seasoned fruit compote is the first thing that penetrates the nose: there are ripe blackberries, black currants, cherries and grapes, well seasoned with pepper, clove powder, marjoram and tarragon. Once you're through there, you'll come across this beautiful mineral note, which should never be missing in a Springbank. Here it shows itself - at least in the nose - in a slightly weakened form. Espresso beans, marzipan bread, now a little cinnamon and coriander. Milk coffee.
    • Taste
      90 90
      Powerful start with sweet berry fruits: blackberries, raspberries, removes strawberries. Directly with a fresh, slightly minty note. Also on the tongue with a very balanced blend of spices, nice interplay of fruit sweetness and flavor. Marjoram, tarragon, pepper, allspice. The mint remains, but it looks fresh and now also maritime with a good portion of salt on the tongue. A little warm engine oil, the sweet fruits as a constant companion ... and then the jumping bench "dirt" comes on the tongue, I almost gave out a missing person report. But yes, there it is finally.
      Becomes increasingly dry without losing its variety of aromas. At the back there are notes of chocolate, marzipan, nougat and a little caramel.
    • Finish
      89 89
      Medium length and dry. The spicy berries on the nose come back intensely, mint in dark chocolate (After Eight sends its regards), café au lait, Scho-Ka-Kola, a hint of wine gum.

  2. hs305 scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    [November, 2020] The 12-years old Springbank Cask Strength offers a very reliable high quality throughout its different batches, usually. I had two rather substandard editions (batch 10 and 16) but all others were pretty fine so far (88-90 points). So what will this new batch be all about? The burgundy casks share sounds interesting...

    ...and they have a bigger impact than the 25 per cent share might suggest both in the nose and on the palate. Nothing wrong with that, but it tastes more like a fortified wine than a single malt whisky. So my rather average score reflects that this is a "whisky-base" - in a "general-drinks-base" I would score it higher, to be honest. This is very quaffable stuff...
    • Nose
      87 87
      The colour is burnished and the nose offers an interesting new profile for this standard edition which is much more wine-driven than the 25 per cent share might suggest. Maybe the sour-winey aromas are amplified by the sherry casks too, but the Burgundy clearly is in the drivers' seat. This is perfect if you appreciate such profile - to me it is somewhat out of balance (in a delicious way, nonetheless). The trademark Springbank malt aromas fight hard to get through this winey wall but they are defeated, finally. Even after significant breathing time the wines stay very dominant. By the way, no off-note and certainly not a whiff of sulphur.
    • Taste
      88 88
      The taste is about the same with strong sour-sweet winey flavours of different kinds (sherry, burgundy, port) in the driver's seat and the malt in a walk-on role only. Very quaffable and again without flaws, but I prefer balanced profile where the malt flavours are on par with the cask impact (both wood and previous contents). I simply do not associate such a profile with single malt whisky hence I like to drink it when I am not in the mood for whisky (which happens from to time, but not very often).
    • Finish
      88 88
      The dram arrives hot (56.1% abv) and a little (not more) coating on the palate without drying-astringent moments. The finish is of medium length and adds more spices and some barley sugars, finally. No distracting moments here either until the very end. Some water turns the nose punchier and the taste smoother and a further reduction flattens the nose. Actually I like to nose this dram neat and prefer it somewhat reduced to about 46-50% abv.

  3. didi1893 scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    Unmistakably a jumping bench and yet so different. Sweet, fruity with that irresistibly dirty and earthy base note. Due to the unusual combination of casks, this Springbank is characterized by an enormous fruitiness and sweetness, the pleasant and intense heat harmonizes perfectly with the dirty earth note, wonderful! Tastes good and surprised!

    22/23/22/22 (89P)
    • Nose
      Slightly cloudy amber shimmers in the glass, oily and long "legs" stick to the glass wall of my Premium Snifter. The nose is earthy and dirty as usual at the first nosing, but sweet fruit aromas are added immediately, nougat and milk chocolate melt and end in caramelized sugar. Raisins and currants come up, sour cherries and a hint of sweet strawberries, salted and roasted peanuts with toffee and chocolate. The initially dirty and earthy base note has now completely withdrawn, sweet grapes and berries with red fruits dominate. Apricots and peaches appear minimal, hints of vanilla and green apple, citrus fruits flash, slowly the minerally dirty Springbank note that is typical for me returns and stimulates the saliva.
    • Taste
      The first sip flows sweet and creamy over the tongue before a gush of earth and slightly smoky peat pours over the tongue. A pinch of white pepper spreads its pleasant spiciness over the entire mouth, while the red fruits come into their own. Candied cherries and strawberries, currants, zest from orange peel and zest from old grapefruit, a few dashes of lemon juice, salt and caramel. Spicy, slightly smoky wood tones pull through the throat, again earth tones stick dirty on the palate. Hints of burnt rubber and motor oil, roasted hazelnuts and roasted almonds, caramel and burnt sugar, milk chocolate melts under the tongue. In the background there is a slightly sharp pinch of pepper which at the same time settles on the tip of the tongue and starts tingling and tingling properly. The salivation starts again, with a plump and heavy warmth on the palate, the taste and aftertaste become blurred.
    • Finish
      As usual, earthy and dirty, a slightly spicy note of pepper with dried grapes and berries, plus sweet strawberries and ripe cherries ... The aftertaste is incredibly voluminous and long-lasting!

  4. WhiskyLovingPianist scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    N: Rich barley-allium-sweet husky [olive] oil > herbal~dry-fruity and [utterly desirable] vanilla mixed with [cask] rubbery ashy garage oils,… [Quorn] mushroomy eggy [Gregg’s] pasties, and did someone put a drop of Brimstone in here? Dropping the SB-sacrosanct BS for one fleeting moment, it is still just whisky,.. and yet, much like the Hazelburn 10, I could write a paragraph for each and every dram.

    T: Initially: an effortless delivery considering the abv,.. it’s the dirty oily phenols that speak first before heaps of, oh dear, hot old rubber. These are just first impressions however, and fortunately, things evolve over time. Unlike the sustaining form of the narrowly focused/concentrated Hazelburn, this one arrives with a bold fanfare and slips out a side door a moment later. Soon enough, a flinty liquorice ‘boing’ into nutty dusty oaky toasted vanillas suggests an evolution is to take place.

    Months later: Now more acclimatised to the rubber, much more of the cask influences, though still prominent, are far more sympathetic and colourful as the month's pass. With a similar quince jelly Hazelburn note followed by toffee brittle, what remains is the crisp, defined, broad stand-out delivery with a complex oaky salty sweetness – those fruity cask complexities now consolidated/settled. Every sip of this ‘like no other’ single malt provides further insights after perspectives, yet I’m still on the fence regarding the [25%] sherry, [25%] burgundy, and [5%] port – the rest ex-bourbon – cask management/influences. Add heaps of water, and we return to the ole’ faithful profile – archetypal ‘homemade’ husky smoky washy coppery Springbank.

    F: At the head of the bottle, we’ve a rubbery vegetal-tannic salty briny/winey finish. Months later, it’s more of the sympathetic yet bold, medium/short toasted oaky > vanilla > salty coppery phenolic [Smarties] barley sugars that win through, though the [cask] rubberiness [along with mint, liquorice wood] is there to the last. Whilst those cask influences rally, they’ve become rather more peripheral and, thankfully, don’t ultimately detract from Springbank’s heart.

    C: Initially disappointing, it took 5 months before this one began cooking, and boy was it worth the wait. Going from ‘initially disappointing’ to ‘standout/brilliant’, with ‘busy cask involvement’ and ‘it’s just whisky’ in-between, to full circle, one can’t help admiring this wizardry on the one hand, whilst pragmatically accepting Springbank’s traditional ‘everyday way’ approach on the other. It’s easy to imagine this will improve beautifully in glass – an O&R jewel in the making.


  5. whiskydramo scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      87 87
      Not rich, mineral. Then blurred nutmeg, followed by some not-so-sweet Mandarin orange. Light roasted hazelnut. Apples from rim edge. Ends with some partially wet hay. More honey from emptied glass.
    • Taste
      86 86
      Syrup, mineral, quickly turns into cherry, citrus zest, tannin, also the pepper. quite spicy in a few seconds.
    • Finish
      88 88
      Orange peel. Apple jam with peel, little bit of mineral, sweet wood. Pepper and resinous. Peat at the end.

  6. Igitor scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    An exciting 12 year old with a lot of strength and balance. Nice drop, even if the last "offers" priced at € 100.00 then no longer fit
    • Nose
      89 89
      Red currant, orange zest, light lime and above all that greasy smoke with distinct port wine aromas. Liquorice and slightly acidic aromas come through towards the end.

      The alcohol is well integrated.
    • Taste
      89 89
      Right at the beginning a lot of wild berries, but also mint and finally the liquorice again. Chocolate tones flash through again and again. The smoke does not dominate, but creates a beautiful frame around the fruit and complements it.

      With water it becomes a little smoother, although the complexity, which is quite considerable for a 12 year old, does not suffer from a few drops.
    • Finish
      88 88
      Long finish, with liquorice and smoke lasting the longest.

  7. whiskyinstitut scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    A very complex batch of the Springbank 12 CS. The individual barrel parts can hardly be broken down, which speaks for a good marriage of the barrels.
    • Nose
      92 92
      Deep red fruits, ashy and aromatic smoke, lovage, light sulfur, chocolate, lots of spicy coffee - that is getting stronger, burnt raspberries, the dirty side almost completely covers the mineral side of Springbanks
    • Taste
      90 90
      Creamy, very complex, the burnt raspberries are back, hot coffee, a lot of heat comes up on the palate, the creaminess is maintained, hardly any dryness with sweet oak spice
    • Finish
      88 88
      Again the light sulfur in the finish, creamy and oak-spicy on the palate, the smoke brings a slight sizzling, here finally a few mineral tones

  8. NoobElias scored this whisky 88 points Member Junior

  9. erwinnlim scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    Another great 12 year old from Springbank. Everything you would normally expect from cask strength Springbank with a twist due to the addition of wine casks that make it akin to the Longrow Red of Springbank 12s. Value (£50) : 9/10
    • Nose
      Rather sweet on the nose. Boiled sweets and toffee. Cranberries and red cherries along with some juicy plums and sultanas. Baked apples and vanilla pudding. Dark roast coffee. Sweet nougat alongside burnt toffee. Wafting of mineral, earthy peat and burnt tobacco leaves. Milk chocolate with salted caramel. The minerality of damp rocks or sand on a beach alongside charred oak. Spearmint with some aniseed as well. Under this, that dense base of industrial spirit is still present despite the influence of the various oak types. I just wish that dirty dunnage influence came through more but the oak seems to have covered that up
    • Taste
      Viscous on the palate and quite sweet again. Sugared orange peels and juicy red fruits. More strawberries and raspberries on the palate. Strawberry yoghurt. More vanilla pudding/ sponge. A light touch of salinity to it as well. Still that bass spirit comes through. Boiled sweets and cola cubes. Very dark chocolate then comes through with some wood shavings. Some bitter espresso and drying leather I expect from the Burgundy wood tannins. Then ginger and black pepper spice appear to balance out the sweetness.
    • Finish
      Quite long lasting, warming and spicy initially. Theres the tannins from the wine casks leaving a mark. The earthy peat smoke then returns along with a coating of juicy fruits.

  10. Erik1908 scored this whisky 85 points Expert Senior

    To start with: I am a great fan of Springbank; especially the 12y old CS expressions. Last Saturday we tasted this SB 12y Old #21 H2H with the #8 (WB52537) in a lineup.

    The result: shocking! Up front we already had the idea that the #8 would be better, but that the difference would be that big?

    Whereas the #8 gave everything I love so much in these 12Y expressions, the #21 stayed far behind: weaker nose; no power; strong wine influences (I thought it was at least finished in a wine cask); sour in the finish.

    Come on Springbank: you can do better; and we all know from the past what happened to Campeltown whisky when the town gave in on quality.


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