Dear friends and followers alike! On friday last week I received a package from the nice people at Symposion containing a sample of the latest edition of Springbank Local Barley! As the name reveals this particular expression of Springbank has been produced using only barley that has been grown locally around Campbeltown. For this edition the barley (of Optic variety) comes from the High Cattadale Farm.
The peating level is 12-15 ppm. Time of distillation is July 2009 and time of bottling is October 2019. The whisky has been matured in a combination of bourbon casks (77%), sherry casks (20%), and port casks (3%). The whisky has been bottled at a (vatting) strength of 56,2% ABV. The number of bottles produced is 9000 out of which 522 has made their way to Sweden. Here it will be launched at the state monopoly tomorrow (the 14th of February) and you can view the product by clicking here.
Ok folks, let's review!
Absolutely wonderful! This dram definitely has something that reminds me of a Laphroaig at cask strength. The centre of the nose is rather salt-y and leather-y. There is also something farmyard-y in the centre (let’s call it "hay"). The centre is surrounded by medium creamy vanilla and smoked almondpaste. There are also clear whiffs of mint and eucalyptus, meaning there is a medicinal thing going on here. It’s not really right to compare this with a Laphroaig though, cause this one is way softer (softspoken), reserved and subdued on the peat as well as overall. In the deep layers I detect a fruity sweetness; kind of a mix between lemon peel and figs dipped in mellow red wine. The strength/ABV goes unnoticed, so very soft indeed.
Salty, salty, salty, mixed with peat! The leather from the nose is very much a part of the taste. Suddenly, passion fruit and mango flies by (!), it stays for less than half a second and then it’s gone (very fleeting indeed). When the saltyness and the peat mellows down we have a beautiful kick from the strength/ABV, this in turn evolves into dryness which evolves into a creamyness consisting of vanilla and melted butter (very slightly burnt), and all of the sudden a whiff of fruit flies by again (this time in the form of yellow kiwi). That’s strange! The aftertaste has quite a lot of dryness in it, reminding me of the taste/feeling of the peel from green grapes. The strength/ABV is present on the palate (the roof of the mouth) all the way through the aftertaste, manifesting itself as bubbles (carbonation) and black pepper-yness. The last thing in the aftertaste to leave my mouth and end the taste all together is ashes and a fleeting presence of elderflower syrup.
Some reflections to sum up:
Even though it may seem otherwise from my notes on the nose vs. the taste, the nose is actually more complex than the taste; the nose is more deep than the taste is, and the different phases of the taste passes by quicker than what the nose indicates it should do, if you know what I mean. As far as my competence goes the taste does not really show any signs of the sherry casks and port casks used, but rather ”only” bourbon casks. On the nose there are however tendencies towards sherry cask maturation (ie. the figs dipped in mellow red wine) and that is absolutely a gret contribution in terms of bringing complexity to the composition. So, should you buy this whisky? Well, the nose itself is almost worth the cost, and the taste is (although not as complex as the nose) also very good. Definitely so for those of you out there who just love your drams salty and peaty.
Finally, a big thanks to Peter at Symposion for the great opportunity to review this whisky before its release! For kind of weekly updates please make sure to follow my FB-page by clicking here, my instagram by clicking here, and my twitter-page by clicking here. Copyright © and All Rights Reserved on all tasting notes and text by SamuelWhisky and pictures and videos 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 [dot] com and when permission granted by stating the source.
|Pic borrowed from systembolaget.se|