- 114.2 Proof
- 12 Years
One of my buddies, who also happens to work at a liquor store, is well-aware of my relatively recent fascination with all things Campbeltown. As a result, I've been fortunate to get first shot at some of the more allocated Campbeltown releases when they come in. Luckily for me, the demand on those isn't nearly as high as it is for allocated bourbons.
Recently his store got in the Kilkerran 8 year cask strength and this Springbank 12 year cask strength. I had only planned on getting one bottle that day, so I went with the one with more age. The fact that I've so far loved everything Springbank certainly made it an easier choice as well. This was also the first time that I've seen the 12 year cask strength on the shelves, so I wanted to make sure not to pass up the opportunity.
On the nose I got a light smokiness along with black pepper, both which seemed to tickle my nostrils. Underneath that spicy smoke note, though, was smooth salted caramel, along with rich dark chocolate. It even had a touch of bitterness to it to balance everything out. There was a lot going on here, but it all worked together.
As to flavor, much like the nose, I got a light smoke up front. This certainly wasn't a heavily peated whisky, but it didn't necessarily shy away from it. I also got a distinct earthy note, something almost musty and funky. It was oaky and almost piney. It sounds a bit weird as I write this, but I actually loved it. That earthy note gave it a lot of character and funk. It also had that black pepper bite up front.
I think what I liked most about that earthy note is the fact that it was immediately followed by a great balancing sweetness. This whisky was full of butterscotch and brown sugar. It also had this consistent chocolate covered almond note. Yet it never got anywhere close to being too sweet, and remained very well-balanced.
The light smoke seemed to really complement the butterscotch notes, particularly on the finish, where both notes seemed to linger forever. This had me diving back into my glass for the next sip. That combination was so incredibly good and provided for a rich and tasty finished that was capstoned by that black pepper spice just to keep it interesting.
Springbank has done it again for me with this one. Even if the Sherry influence wasn't strong, the well-roundedness and the combination of otherwise great flavors made for one enjoyable dram! I understand it's a twice a year release, and I'm absolutely going to have my eye out for future releases.