This is the weakest release of the 12-years old Cask Strength I tasted so far with off-notes and imbalances which are quite unusual in Springbank releases. But if you prefer sour (sherry) winey notes and moderate sulphurous impressions you will like this dram, most probably...
The colour is burnished and the nose offers some off-notes which happens not that often with Springbank. There are both some sour-cheesy and slightly sulphurous (matchbox) notes in there which I do not like. To be honest, I am not in the mood to search for better aromas behind these off-notes - why should I? The nose is actually not really bad but it is not good either. After some minutes of breathing the off-notes vanish to a large part but the more delicate aromas still hide shy in the background.
The taste is sour-winey driven with some sweet barley sugars and hot spices (peppers, ginger). It is neither complex nor balanced, the sour flavours dominate a little too much according to my taste buds. After some chewing the sugars combine to a milk chocolate impression that lasts not very long, unfortunately the sour winey notes claim control again.
The dram arrives hot and coating on the palate with a significant peppery feeling that is somewhat distracting. The finish is of medium length and adds finally the sulphurous notes that lurked in the background during the taste. They are bearable and if you are not sensitive to sulphur you most probably will not recognise them at all. Unfortunately, I am. But the tasty chocolatey note pops up towards the end again as if it wants to soothe the pain. Water strengthens the sulphurous notes both in the nose and on the palate so use it only if you like the smell of hell...