Whiskybase

Springbank 12-year-old

Overall rating
88.81/100
votes
82
Category
Single Malt
Distillery
Bottler
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Red Thistle
Bottled
1995
Stated Age
12 years old
Strength
46.0 % Vol.
Size
50 ml 700 ml
Bottle code
SD764
Barcode
61085412700
Added on
25 Jan 2009 11:17 am
UncoloredNon-chillfiltered

Average value

€ 531,02

8 × in wishlist

82 × member ratings

128 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Springbank 12-year-old

13 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 88.81 points

  1. hs305 scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    [March, 2018]  These old Springbank "thistle" bottlings were my favourite drams when I started to drink single malt whisky in the nineties and I always enjoyed them.  So I asked Frank McHardy why these bottlings are so delicious compared to other 12-years old drams.  He smiled and answered "you know, these were bottled shortly after the whisky bust of the eighties and we owned large excess stocks of older casks that we could not sell otherwise.  So we simply used some of these old casks (instead of water) to dilute the 12-years old batches to the desired 46% abv.  So, actually you drink a good share of much older stuff that matured 20 years or even more, but the share of that differs from batch to batch."  What a clever move of Springbank:  If this was intentionally than I nominate Springbank for any Marketing Award that is out there:  To use excess high quality stock to build a sustainable compelling reputation of your standard range is simply very smart - very, very smart!!!).

    Not just the share of older Springbank is different from batch to batch (by the way, Springbank released rather small batches during these times) but the split between bourbon and sherry casks vary drastically too.  Because this all is very interesting I selected two bottles for a head-to-head tasting that represent these differences:  This "red thistle" bottling with a very pale colour (so almost exclusively bourbon casks, I guess) versus a very dark "green thistle" bottling (WB id 4511, that contains a high share of dark sherry casks, for sure).  I bought both bottles for 66 Euro (129 Deutschmark) each back in 2001.  

    Both are great drams of the past and very, very quaffable.  Depending on your preference of either bourbon matured or sherry matured drams you should go for the rather paler or darker batches.  I really enjoyed both - and the price of 66 Euro was more than okay for a dram of that quality (back in 2001).  To be honest, I prefer these drams even quality-wise over the recent 21-years and 25-years Springbank bottlings (not to mention their price)!

    PS:  Always remember there are many different batches of the red and green thistle releases that all taste very different.  Unfortunately, there is almost no chance to identify a certain batch except from the colour.  Both bottles show the bottle code SD764 (what is the batch of the glass bottle production at the bottom of the bottle), but most green and red thistles are bottled with this bottle code.  The green thistle has a bottling hall stamp 99/46 on the back side of the smaller back label (you see the stamp through the glass once the bottle is empty), the red thistle has no stamp unfortunately...
    • Nose
      90 90
      The colour of the RED is of jonquiripe corn whereas the GREEN is much darker at burnt umber. Both show a comparable texture of medium tears with slow legs that speed up towards the bottom of the glass. The RED offers an adorable old-stylish bourbon nose that is centered around an autumn floral, fruity and spicy profile with nice honey and sugary aromas. Very delicate and balanced, I like that! The nose of the GREEN is completely old-style sherry driven (oloroso, mostly) with all these adorable sherry-induced aromas you can dream of. No off-note at all (not a single sulphur-atom, I swear!) but all balanced and delicious. The RED was great already but the GREEN is even better - this is sherry maturation at its best...
    • Taste
      91 91
      The RED shows a truly multi-layered taste that I like to chew for minutes. It starts very sweet on barley sugars, then some spices and honeys join before a great flavour of white chocolate pops up (that I adore in this setting). There are many fruity and floral flavours in there too that show up after some time as they are rather subtle and are dominated by the other aromas during the first layers. Not a single off-note that I can detect, fantastic! The taste of the GREEN is multi-layered too with a fine balance of the sherry and malty flavours (despite the very strong sherry influence the Springbank malt characteristics are clearly recognisable). I guess experienced taste buds can identify more than 30 different flavours and aromas in the GREEN. It is chewable for minutes, too and without any flaw (again not a single trace of sulphur!): Because of the additional sherry-induced flavours I prefer the GREEN a little bit over the RED (but the RED is great too, for sure!). Some water releases more aromas both in the nose and on the palate of the RED that is worth a try. Nevertheless I prefer the neat RED, without doubts. Water turns the GREEN smoother and more approachable (quaffable) too, it adds very nice chocolatey notes that in the neat dram just lurk in the background. I prefer a little reduced GREEN over the neat version (but try out yourself)...
    • Finish
      91 91
      The RED arrives warming and nicely coating in the mouth without any distracting moment at all, this is pretty good! The mouthfeel of the GREEN is comparable warming and coating with a minor drying-astringent feeling from heavy tannins (there must be quite old sherry casks in this batch, for sure). This feeling is not annoying at all, it rather promises a great taste to the (experienced) connoisseur. The finish of the RED is long and extends the beautiful tasting experience without any distracting feeling. It adds a pinch of salt and some other spices to this delicate taste. The finish of the GREEN is even longer than the RED with more wooden notes (spices, a little dryness) that are a good contrast to the sweet taste. Again I prefer the GREEN a notch (one point) over the RED.

  2. Dram Dracula scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    Score of 89 is for the 750ml USA Preiss Imports bottling with black cap with cork. I detect a bit of sulfur.

  3. helmutgw scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    + H2O: the alcohol is better integrated, the whole story rounder, even bitter. + H2O: becomes a bit too wide, the details blur.
    26.11.2017 91
    • Nose
      Sherry, more sweet than bitter, dried fruit: raisins, fruit cake
    • Taste
      good body, some alcohol, dry, astringent, peppery, some fresh wood, a hint of nuts / almonds
    • Finish
      long, alcoholic, from sweet to bitter, the dried fruits and alcohol are persistent

  4. Donwaldorf scored this whisky 85 points Expert Senior

    Nothing fudge but is easily drunk. I do not really know what to think about it ... He passed but I do not miss him ...
    • Nose
      Light nose on the plant and the mineral with a very light fruit background.
    • Taste
      Attack very light see water but there is a rise very quickly on the spices, the herbaceous side then comes the austerity.
    • Finish
      Average length always on the plant and the spices. Small creamy side on the end.

  5. whiskycuse did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    Tasting Notes:
    https://whiskycuse.wordpress.com/2014/04/02/springbank-12-yo-red-thistle-ob-1995/

  6. lachaineduwhisky did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    Enthusiasm 4/5 Whisky n ° 1388
    (10th dram of the evening, sorry for the lack of details! ^^)
    • Nose
      Smoked but especially malt very supported. Very slight sweetness.
    • Taste
      Good for the 46%. Very nice presence.

  7. hs305 scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    [November, 1999]  I had this dram during a Springbank rarities tasting at
    Kyrburg.  In my old rating system (ten scales that translate into WB points: 50
    - 66 - 75 - 80 - 82,5 - 85 - 87,5 - 90 - 92,5 - 95) I scored this dram 87,5.  My notes state a pale colour and smooth taste with some toffee notes.  The finish is rather short.  It improves with some drops of water added.

  8. schero did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    Serge Valentin http://www.whiskyfun.com/archivenovember07-2.html#271107

  9. sagara-kun scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    Not bad at all.
    • Nose
      Mineral nose, lemon (eau de vie), candy. A little caramel, stewed apricot. Round and greedy.
    • Taste
      Sweet mouth, gingerbread, caramel Sweet round. Fruit paste. Wax thoroughly and varnish. Light woody.
    • Finish
      Long, mouth and fruity continuity (apple).

  10. Tom na Gruagaich scored this whisky 80 points Connoisseur

    straightforward, fresh and honest.

    # # Blind tasting
    • Nose
      fresh, lemony, beery, glucose
    • Taste
      strong, alcoholic, quite "straight", a little tart, spicy, herbaceous, some plastic.
    • Finish
      bitter, fresh, citrus, some pepper, metallic aftertaste and some oak at the back.

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