Springbank 12yo Burgundy (2016)
Welcome to Springbank Week on Words of Whisky! This year has seen some very exciting releases from Springbank, so I figured I’d bundle them up and make a Springbank-party out of it. The 16yo Local Barley will feature on Wednesday, and I’ll end the week on Friday with a battle of single casks: a head-to-head of two of the new official 21yo single casks, one for The Netherlands and the other for Belgium.
But we’ll start with the Springbank 12 year old Burgundy, which was released in June and was received very well. Interestingly enough, Springbank are one of the few distilleries that get away with using exotic cask types (meaning anything besides ex-bourbon or ex-sherry). Most distilleries receive a certain amount of flak when they experiment, but I guess because of Springbanks (deserved) reputation for doing everything the right way, whisky geeks don’t seem to care.
Matured for 12 years in first fill Burgundy barrels, this whisky promises to be something interesting. A little over 10.000 bottles have hit the market.
Springbank 12yo Burgundy (53,5%, OB, 10.260 bts.)
Nose: A briny, mineral whiff at first, but quickly notes of fermented grapes take over. Plenty of sweetness. Treacle and cranberries. Blood oranges too. Some fresh oak as well. And of course a nice, but subtle amount of peat smoke.
Taste: A tad dry, that’s likely the Burgundy casks talking. Sweet grapes, brambles, cranberries. More brine and peat, as well as dark chocolate and chili peppers.
Finish: Drying. Forest fruits. Aniseed. Long. Ending on a peaty note.
The Springbank spirit shines once again, but I’m not the biggest fan of the Burgundy maturation. That’s not to say that this isn’t a good whisky. It’s really good actually, but sometimes a tad too sweet.
Photo: Master of Malt
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.