This is from the series of 12 yo single sherry casks Springbank released some years ago. In addition to this oloroso, there was a fino, a cream sherry and an amontillado cask. I went through a bottle of the cream sherry and have an unopened bottle of the fino. This series, which took a while to sell out, was followed by a series of 14 yo single sherry casks, which sold for more or less the same price ($100 or just below). This series has recently been supplanted by a yet older series which is considerably more expensive (north of $150). So once I get through my samples and closed bottles of the 12 and 14 yo’s I’ll be done with reviewing Springbank’s single sherry casks for a long while. Who would have ever believed in the days when Preiss Imports was bringing Springbank to the US that another importer could make them even more expensive?
Springbank 12, 1996-2009, Oloroso Sherry (51.5%; butt 96/267; from a sample received in a swap)
Nose: Obviously sherried but not a sherry bomb. Raisins, salted nuts, brine and just a hint of gunpowder. Gets richer as it sits with dried tangerine peel and apricots and hoisin sauce pushing their way up through the brine, which is still very present. After ten minutes or so it is approaching sherry bomb territory. With a drop or two of water the dried fruit expands and integrates with the gunpowder.
Palate: Raisins, cola, salt and gunpowder, in that order. The citrus from the nose is not very present on the first or second sip. And time doesn’t bring it out either though it does make it simultaneously more leathery and soft (I know that’s kind of contradictory). Let’s see what water does. Ah, it does bring out the citrus and apricot and makes this much rounder and a little bit sweeter.
Finish: Long. Drying and salty with some of that gunpowder. Sweeter and mildly fruitier with water.
Comments: Very nice but not for the extreme sulphur-phobe. I preferred the nose to the palate and the palate to the finish. I’ve come to really love the meaty, savoury character of some of the Glendronach “single casks” I’ve had in recent years and that quality is not very pronounced here. Without water the emphasis here is on dry, salty notes; with water it’s much rounder, and I think I prefer it that way. Okay, I think I have a reference sample of the cream sherry cask also hiding somewhere on my shelves–I’ll have to taste that again soon.
Rating: 88 points.
Thanks to bpbleus for the sample! I’ve been sitting on it for a long time–it’s really time I inventoried all these sample bottles.