Thanks to /u/devoz for the sample.
I enjoy Springbank.
Normally I wouldn’t have to say that, but with Summer and vacation and my personal life being quite busy, not to mention two bad allergic reactions, I’ve been off whisky for a bit.
So I feel I should restate a bias I have.
I enjoy Spingbank quite a bit. I still believe that the 10 year is some of the best bang for your buck you can get (even though I probably put it 4 points higher than I should have).
However when it comes to older Springbanks, I vary. So perhaps I’m not being 100% biased as fuck on this one.
Springbank 16 Local Barley is a special edition from Springbank, with a limited run of 9000 bottles.
Wish someone would give me a limited amount of money, and limited amount of crazy threesomes.
That aside, why was it limited? Well because it uses barley grown at Low Machrimore Farm in Scotland. And as everyone here knows, automatically, that’s just outside Campbeltown.
(The last part was sarcasm).
It’s been awhile since Springbank did this, probably due to the war (Citation needed). None the less, we’re getting 5 expressions this time, which is pretty cool.
So let’s see how the local barley grown affects this whisky, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Colour: 5Y 8/6
Nose: Brine, molasses, peach, pear, melon, tar
More subdued, as I expect from an older bottling. There’s still some smoke elements, and the brine/fruit elements I love in Springbank are present.
It’s not too complicated though. Almost like someone pretending to be a Springbank. Which is odd, because how would you simulate being full of liquid that is tasty? No, no, something’s not quite right.
Taste: Anise, molasses, nectarine, dry, spearmint, salty
Spicy, more rum like elements. Again, I enjoy it, but it’s like the volume on the TV is too low, and you’re old and crotchety.
Not that I’m projecting.
Again, I like the stone fruit and developed peat, however it’s missing some oomph.
Finish: Cedar, pear, peat, raisin, tires, umami
Finishes with the oomph I was looking for, however now without any of the other fruit or anything else.
It’s nice to sip on, just not wowing me. I’d normally think it was due to me being a sad sorry sack of a human being, however others have told me the same after my review, so perhaps it’s the whisky this time.
Conclusion: It’s missing oomph. It is oomph-less. I went looking for the oomph, and there it was: Gone.
This didn’t develop in a newer way. It’s good, don’t get me wrong: It’s fruit and peat, with some bring. Any lover of Laphroaig or Ardbeg would enjoy it.
However given the age, the cask strength, the special barley, and the price increase that comes with all of that… well, it’s not blowing me away. I prefer other Springbanks over this one. It’s trying to be boisterous and subtle at the same time, which doesn’t work because those are fucking opposites, dammit.
Oh well. Happy to have tried it, and still love the distillery. Maybe next time.
Scotch review #458, Campbeltown review #25, Whisky Network review #747