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

£ 129.74

93 × in wishlist

307 × member ratings

968 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Springbank 12-year-old

74 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 88.10 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. Palindrome scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    I'm going from sipping a 19 year old single barrel cask strength Caroni to this bottle. I don't think it will affect my tastebuds. Anyway, I'm quite familiar with my bottle of Springbank 12 Batch 21 that is down about a third by now.

    Nose: Since the last time I poured from this bottle, the nose has settled down somewhat and is now more cohesive with notes of old leather, brown sugar molasses, blackberry cobbler, sea salt, vanilla ice cream (ala mode!), new plastic from the 1990's, saccharine, yeasty bread dough, touch of that special peat, allspice.

    Mouth: Measured attack of the alcohol is fine, quickly subsides to reveal wet sand, vanilla, mild peat, newer leather than the nose, stale caramel, old stale marshmallow, sweet potato, and that hard to define classic malt whisky flavor from whisky bottled in the late 1980's. The sulfur is very dialed down. I wouldn't even call it sulfur, per se. I can't say there is "zero" sulfur but it's very slight. I'm not a fan of sulfur. Ever. I'm going to call this a "sulfur free" batch by default. Maybe just a hint of "devil's cologne" on the nose, but no sewerage on the palate. The palate is where I care about such things. I'm allergic to sulfur and especially sulfites in wine. Even though it's hard to find good "sulfite-free" organic wine.

    Finish: longer than the typical Springbank 12. Fades out with the caramel and that vintage 80's malt flavor. Does not attack the tip of the tongue. One of the better finishes for the 12's, I'd say. It's medium long in length compared to other whiskies.

    Bonus: After the whisky is gone, one's glass retains sweet potato, malt, and peat. The dry effluvium is actually more peaty that the whisky itself for some odd reason. That indicates to me that the peat is right there all along underneath everything, keeping this malt in line when one is sipping it, a little at a time. Also in the dried whisky of empty glass, baby vomit. That note reminds me of the old Laddie Ten from Bruichladdich back in the day.

    I hinted and recommended in several of my other reviews that Springbank might try an experiment like this with a batch of its 12's. I think I even sent this suggestion to the distillery directly in 2019. Did my suggestions influence the distillery's decision to actually try such an experiment? I don't know, but the coincidence is not lost on me. My last suggestion mentioned how trying such a thing might help folks to cope with all of the lockdowns and mask quarantining of the healthy . . . over and over and over again, until everyone becomes detached from their past while being programmed to embrace a dismally dark future that has been dressed up to seem "bright." How ironic that the false history of humanity's "dark ages" were actually the brightest and most glorious with a global civilization based on fairness, healthy technology, and spiritual wisdom--instead of the lies we've been told, and which never happened.

    Thank you, Springbank, for helping to make our lives a little cheerier despite the Old World Disorder's "problem" and its rather brutally stentorian "solutions" that are designed to change Western society forever, I'm afraid. Flying insects down 75%, HAARP frying the world, a vanishing ozone layer thanks to Strontium 90 in the upper atmosphere, forests in North America and Australia being burned down (often on purpose by minions rather than inadvertently as is claimed with talk of "climate change" the change of which is very much being enabled by weather machine terror and other factors), Five Gee Wiz frying us (yes, my hand has been seriously hurt a few times when texting things that were deemed "inappropriate" and I needed to run my hand under cold water for over 20 minutes and then my hand was stiff for weeks afterwards), geoegineering (spraying of nano particulates of aluminum and barium and possibly graphine) wreaking havoc on the earth's environment, toxic societal programming that is doing away with the most basic "facts of life" in nature as they pertain to human beings (in a bid to separate the human race from the natural world through cyborgery and chimaery), the list goes on and on . . . and this batch of Springbank is helping me, at least, to cope with a world that is being destroyed very much on purpose by those who serve dark forces like the morally bankrupt automatons they are.

    As I said, the balance of Batch 21 improves with oxygenation. Earlier reviews of this whisky with freshly opened bottles really do not capture the malt accurately. It needs to be cooked for a while in a bottle that is at least down to the top of the broadest width of the bottle. Anything above that, unless cooked for years, would not capture this whisky at its best. The seemingly overwrought sweet and bourbon cask woods come together gracefully under the yoke of that famous classic Springbank character in this way.

    In closing, I will say that leaving a glass alone for a while is not the same as bottle cooking with Springbank. It is for many distilleries, but not this one. In order to really appreciate all this whisky has to offer, one must not open a new bottle and pour expecting time to help equitably in the glass. Again, it is not the same as a well oxygenated bottle, and this propensity is quite apparent in this particular 12 year old for some reason. The burgundy and port woods loosen their hold in the best of ways, whereas without bottle cooking they still exert too much influence upon one's dram, making the mix of Springbank single malts in this batch seem far more cacophonous in a less than desirable way (which is different from other Springer 12's).

  6. DenisLeonov scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    Balance (21)
    It is not clear yet, it is necessary to try (86
    • Nose
      Discreet, caramel sherry with light notes of nuts, skin and oranges with sugar. (21.5)
    • Taste
      Dried fruits, leather, wood (21.5)
    • Finish
      At the finish there are the right citrus, salt and minerality, a little smoke (22)

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. NoobElias scored this whisky 88 points Member Junior


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