The nose is quite pleasing indeed. Molasses, clotted cream, caramel, fresh beignets, port wine, and a little chickory. Now comes the part that might be hard for some who have already rated this bottle to read: I found this one to be a slightly substandard bottling in terms of mouthfeel, taste and finish. I am primarily comparing it against Springbank 12 cask strength whiskies that I have tasted in the past. But I am also judging it on its own as being its own animal.
Initially, one encounters a touch of white pepper, stale cloves, coagulated port residue, cinnamon bark sticks, tired oak (as wood tends to smell in hot weather of summer months at a very old mountain cabin in which the extreme weather elements have sapped all youth out of the wood), no marine influence, no good peat. Dare I confess that it seems a little bleak, bitter, and somewhat antisocial as a Springbank? I bought this bottle due to its rating on Whiskybase, as did three of my friends in Pacific Northwest of the US of A. We were all disappointed. The mouthfeel moves to the tip of the tongue and stays there.
The finish is medium in length but very sharp. As a whisky in the same price range as the 12 CS, it would be an interesting experiment. But here in the USA, it was about double that price when shipped from Scotland. 87 points. My rating is not swayed by the rather portly price tag on this port pipe (no pun intended). It's the same as I would have rated it at half the cost. Normally when I see a blue "S" on a Springbank label, I get happy and excited. This one doesn't quite deserve the blue "S". Then again, judging by the other verdicts below, I'm sure it can only improve from here on out.