tisdag 18 april 2017

Springbank 11 yo – Local Barley 53,1% ABV

Dear friends and followers alike, a couple of weeks ago I received a package of different samples from the nice people of Symposion! The sample that I will share my notes on with you all is Springbank "Local Barley". But first some info on Springbank Distillery. From the handout/info I received I read:

"There are a few Scottish distilleries that still malt their own barley but Springbank is the only distillery which malts 100% of its own barley, using the traditional floor maltings. The whole production process: malting, milling, mashing, fermentation, distillation, maturation and bottling, happens on the one site in Campbeltown. This is unique in Scotland"

Given these facts, maybe it is in order to label Springbank as one of the few remaining "craft"-distilleries? Now, regarding this particular expression of Springbank, besides the obvious fact that "Local Barley" has been produced using only barley that has been grown locally around Campbeltown, the handout/info states that 9000 bottles have been produced for this batch, that the (vatting) strength is 53,1% ABV and the casks used are 100% bourbon. However it does not 
state what kind of bourbon casks (in terms of size and filling). That would be nice to know. 

Anyways, here in Sweden the Springbank "Local Barley" will be available at the state monopoly the day after tomorrow (the 20th of april) and you can view it by clicking here. Ok, lets do some nosing and tasting and see what we have!

Big, fat and rich of vanilla-stuff, in fact the nose is very creamy indeed, smells yummie! The peat is definitely evident but in a kind of subdued way, presetin itself kind of like creamy ashes, there is also something ”green” about the peat, in one part sort of sea-ish (wet seaweed/tang) and in the other part something woods-y. The woods-y stuff is the most dominant. In the middle of these two layers (the vanilla/cream and the peat) is some kind of fruit, overripe pear comes to mind along whith some fruity candy, maybe orange colored bassets or swedish peach candy, in fact it’s almost as if this candy (whichever candy it is) has been dipped in white chocolate… nice!

That’s a really cool start! It starts off with medium-salt-y peat, the peat is very chewable and more-ish. Instantly when I have swallowed, along comes that peach candy but it transforms very fast into candied lemon. In the early aftertaste a quick buzz of medium strong alcohol, then the peat comes through in the form of creamy ashes. I the late aftertaste everything goes over into some kind of medium burnt vanilla and burnt creamyness.

To sum up
The thing that strikes me with this dram (apart from the fact that it is a very drinkable one) is that the nose is so much more complex than the taste; most of the things going on in this dram happens on the nose and for some reason I had expected it to be the other way around. What I mean by this is firstly that Springbank is usually a quite big and robust whisky indeed (although its 10-15ppm), and secondly given the fact that this particular expression holds 53,1% ABV, could both be expected to result in a quite explosive dram. On the other hand, this does not mean that it is a boring whisky, it could mean that the blender at Springbank has deliberatly choosen very creamy casks resulting in a very calm taste. Nontheless, a very drinkable dram and a very interesting experience indeed. 

Big thanks to the nice people at Symposion for sharing a sample of this whisky and for the opportunity to review and try it before the release! Sláinte! Please make sure to follow my FB-page by clicking here, my twitter-page by clicking here, and my instagram by clicking here. Copyright © and All Rights Reserved on all tasting notes and text by SamuelWhisky and pictures likewise belong to SamuelWhisky, unless stated. If you would like to use any such material that belongs to SamuelWhisky or associated with SamuelWhisky, please ask by sending me an email to samuelkarlssonorebro[at]gmail.com

Picture/copyright belongs to Symposion

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