Springbank 12 year old, 50%

Price: $58 Issue: Fall 2004 Reviewer: John Hansell

(Reviewer's note: This is a bottling exclusive to Sam's Wine & Spirits in Chicago, IL.) Springbank bottlings over the past few years have been variable, but improving. The less inspiring ones have been too heavily sherried and/or lacked the classic Springbank freshness, liveliness, and briny character one has come to expect from a Campbeltown whisky. This one is indeed from a sherry cask. It's still not the classic Springbanks we were spoiled with in the 1990s, but it's delicious nonetheless. Yes, there's plenty of sherry (and these notes contribute lush fruit, toffee, and nuts), but the youth and zest of this whisky cuts through it and balances it nicely, with those familiar brine and coconut notes interwoven throughout. A bold and satisfying Springer, with more character that the 175th Anniversary 12 year old distillery bottling that has been in circulation.