Close this search box.

Scotch Whisky Legends: Springbank 12 Year Old 100 Proof Samaroli

The Springbank 12 Year Old 100 Proof Samaroli.

This week on Scotch Legends, we take a (nose)dive into the Springbank 12 Year Old 100 Proof, bottled in the 1980s for Samaroli. The whisky was rated a staggering 98 points by Serge Valentin of WhiskyFun, a record for Springbank.

Be sure to read the previous installments of Scotch Whisky Legends here.

The Springbank 12 Year Old 100 Proof, b.1980s for Samaroli

This is a relatively young single malt compared to the others that we have seen in WhiskyFun Legends, but that makes it no less delicious.

The Springbank 12 Year Old 100 Proof was bottled for the legendary Italian independent bottler and importer, Samaroli, in the early 1980s. Only 2,400 of these were ever produced, adding to the allure of this already famous bottling.

One of the interesting things about this bottle is how unassuming it looks. Yes, Springbank 12 Year Olds from the 1980s are sought after in the UK market. However, this whisky is so much more than that, and it requires a slightly closer inspection to realise its full potential.

On the bottle, you can see Springbank’s famous gold thistle and gothic ‘S’. At the bottom of the label, in small print, it is stated that the whisky is 100 proof (or 57.1% ABV). Only when you turn the bottle around do you discover that it was bottled by Samaroli, one of the most impactful independent bottlers ever to grace the whisky industry.

Only five of these bottles have ever sold at auction in the UK, hidden amongst standard Springbank 12 Year Olds from the 1980s. So, keep a keen eye on the whisky auctions if you are looking to add one of these to your collection.

An unassuming bottle it may be but, according to Serge Valentin, the whisky is anything but timid…

Serge Valentin’s Tasting Notes on The Springbank 12 Year Old 100 Proof, b.1980s for Samaroli

Serge Valentin sampled this Springbank on December 16th 2004. Seeing as this was almost 20 years ago, I imagine he must be keen to get his hands on another dram…

Colour: deep amber. 

Nose: extreme beehive, wax, propolis, old papers… Mirabelle jam, quince jelly… absolutely brilliant. Bold, coating… Gets then quite smoky, with some mocha. Then banana flambéed, coconut… Then some high-end wine (great old Pomerol – no, not just any merlot)… Then chicory… Then lots of pineapple liqueur, Malibu, old Muscat wine. Really breathtaking. Gets then buttery, with some crème brulée… Hay jam, apricot jam… Just an endless development. 

Mouth: so extraordinarily bold! Almost pungent, after more than 20 years in its bottle. All sorts of jams, orange, crystallized kumquats. Lots of spices, nuts, smoke, herbs… I could go on for hours. S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G.

Second go after some breathing, one hour and a half later, from the very same glass (no refill!): the nose gets quite similar to a very old Sauternes or a Sélection de Grains Nobles (by Zind-Humbrecht, no need to say). Raisins, quince jelly, very old rum. The mouth is still very strong: old Port, grilled beef, balsamic vinegar… even some Japanese sake! A complete catalogue of aromas and flavours. Yes, this one is well a ‘Grand Cru’, or a malt king.

98 points (record!)” – Serge Valentin,, 2004

The Price of the Springbank 12 Year Old 100 Proof Samaroli at Auction

Silvano Samaroli was one of the most well-loved independent bottlers in the whisky industry. Samaroli bottlings are highly sought-after at auction.

This Springbank Samaroli import is very elusive, having sold at auction just five times in the UK, with a huge gap in between sales.

One of these bottles sold in October 2015 for £3,300 at Whisky Online Auctions. In 2018, one came to auction and failed to attract any bids. Fastforward to 2023 and one of these Springbanks sold at Sotheby’s in London for £22,500 (inc. buyer’s premium).

It seems, then, that the competition to bid on these bottles at auction just became ever more fierce.

Buy Springbank Whisky

The Springbank Starkickers.

We have an incredible selection of Springbank whiskies available on our shop, including the Springbank Starkickers.

Browse the full collection here.

Beth Squires

Beth joined Mark Littler Ltd full-time in October 2020 following the completion of her university degree. Since then she has gained wide-ranging knowledge of all things whisk(e)y, and has written extensively for both company and external publications. Beth is passionate about industry innovation, marketing, and sustainability. With a particular affinity for independently bottled rare scotch, Beth is also a whisky bottle investment specialist.

All Posts
  • Latest News
  • Latest Reviews