This is the now-legendary "12/100," often referred to as "Double-Dark / Dark-Dark" or "Single-Dark / Dark" depending on the color of the whisky (there seem to have been 2 different batches/vattings).
As the story goes, in the mid-1990s it turned out that Springbank had a number of under-proof casks aging in their warehouses, between 30 and 36 years old. Since the spirit needs to be at least 40% ABV to qualify as scotch whisky, somebody at the distillery decided to use the under-proof whisky to "dilute" cask-strength around-12-year stuff down to standard levels. Typically, distilled water would be used for this purpose -- so you can imagine how instead adding 36-year-old unadulterated Springbank might impact the flavor differently than water! Another version of the story says that there was a family dispute at the time, and one of the guys at the distillery "wasted" these great casks to spite someone else.
According to some of the veterans of PLOWED who shot this bottle into fame, there is little difference between the "darks." Others disagree though.
N: Combination of very rich fatty notes, lavender, orange custard, lots of rubber and plastic. I also get some cinnamon notes reminding me of some vintage bourbons, like Stitzel-Weller Old Fitzgerald. P: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Full flavored nectar of Springbank. This is excellent, no hype about it. Ya gotta love the Springbank rubbery sherry (which I do) because this a monster example of that style. Side-by-side with the 1966 this one is much thicker and flavorful, if you can believe that. F: Very long with a build, lavender and rubber notes go on forever. I would sell an organ for another bottle of this. Pure joy.
Nose of big sherry, figs, raisins, banana bread. Palate is a nearly-ideal balance of sherry, spice, and toffee stuff. Greatly drinkable, yet very full-flavored. Medium-to-sweet sweetness. Heat feels much less than 50%. In the finish is where this really gets the most excellent for me, it really goes into high gear after a couple seconds. All the previous things crescendo, then verrry slowwwly fade over a very long finish that's slightly chewy, leaving cocoa in the very end. Great balance.
What this whisky does is neither mind-blowing nor super-unique... it just does many of the best but common things very well, and is super satisfying. When this was originally around for about $45, it's obvious why people went nuts over it. A/A-
Rich sherry notes. Lots of dark fruits (berries, raisins, prunes) with a light whiff of smoke. The sherry goodness contnues on the palate and is suprisingly very smooth at 50%. Leather, tobacco and tea come out as the finish lingers and turns a bit into waxy licorice. A/A-
n: heavy on the jam and stewed fruits. Massive amount of sticky toffee cake and black bean vanilla. Coconut cream pie with golden toasted merengue and hint of smoke.
t: vintage, dried cherries soaked in sea brine and then smoked. Red fruits with salted leather and passionfruit black tea. Very dense and oily mouthfeel with evolving flavours that slowly peel away revealing another delicious layer. Dry wood finish, grey seasalt, and marzipan dough; varnish and fruit to the very end. Incredible stuff!