Review: Springbank 12 Year Calvados Wood Finish

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Springbank has always been one of my favourite distilleries, and each year I look forward to the annual, limited release “wood finish” series featuring a different fun and funky cask finish. Past releases have included rum, Madeira, claret and bourbon casks. This new release, distilled in April of 2000 and bottled in October 2012, spent 6 years in refill Bourbon barrels before being transferred for the last 6 years to fresh Calvados casks. For those unfamiliar with Calvados, it is a barrel aged apple brandy produced in the region of Normandy in France.

Appearance: A lovely golden-honey colour

Nose: Perhaps it is the power of suggestion getting the better of me, but my immediate impression was of ripe apple skin, followed shortly by fresh sea air and a touch of smoke.

Palate: The palate is oily and rich, showing the power of the 52.7% alcohol. With a touch of spring water this opens up nicely, revealing flavours of freshly baked sugar buns, apple pie, honey and touch of sea water and smoke on the finish.

Conclusion: This is a lovely whisky and its balance of power and elegance is commendable. The extra maturation in Calvados barrels seems to have added additional depth and complexity rather than simply being a gimmick. All in all a stellar dram and with under 10,000 bottles produced this is won’t last forever!

Rating: Highly Recommended

$92 + tax here in Alberta.

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