Nose: Crisp honey and gentle apples. Lovely maritime saltiness. Cream. Considerably more fruity than the 17. Cereal and orange. Really nice and crisp.
Palate: Quite spicy and sharp, but never biting. Creamy, buttery mouthfeel. Deep, rich honey, salt and white pepper gentle malt.
Finish: Fruit kicks in here. Apples and pears, and a hint of pineapple. Buttery. The peppery note fades gradually throughout the medium-long finish. Meanwhile, the malt note seems to persist. The lingering flavours are malty and salty, with a fleeting honeyed sweetness. Great.
Thoughts: This is definitely OP. The salt, the butter, the malt, the coastal notes, the gentle sweetness, the white pepper. All of these components are crisp and clean. Is it as good as the 17 year old? Almost. The 17 is more rounded, calm, and mature. Where the 12 is slightly more pointed, the 17 is smoother and oakier. Where the 12 is dynamic, the 17 is more steady. Despite the differences, these are very much of the same ilk. Buttery, salty, coastal, and charming. Gotta love OP.