Springbank 11 Years Old Local Barley (2017)
The second of five Local Barley-releases arrived a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been looking forward to this one, as last years release was a big hit over here at Words of Whisky. The new Springbank 11 Years Old Local Barley is obviously a bit younger, but also made from a different type of barley.
The historical Bere Barley isn’t being used much anymore, with advent of higher-yielding barley varieties leading to a deep decline in bere growing during the 19th and 20th centuries. For the Springbank 11 Years Old Local Barley, a total of 13 tonnes of barley was used across four hectares at Aros Farm, which is situated near Machrihanish airport. After 11 years in 26 Bourbon casks approximately 9,000 bottles were released
Springbank 11 Years Old Local Barley (53,1%, OB, 9000 bts.)
Nose: Almond oil with some fairly big citrus notes (lemon), but also damp leaves and minerals. There’s more fruit here, like apples and galia melon. Surprisingly not much smoke, but there is a nice amount of wax.
Taste: Fat, oily and mouthcoating. Sweet arrival, but continues on big citrus notes, but rather more bitter oranges now. Lots of cigar tobacco, a distinct peatiness, menthol cigarettes, as well as a nice salinity. Lots to love here.
Finish: Lingers on citrus and menthol, with a touch of peat smoke and ashes.
Not on the same level as the 16 Year Old from last year, this is a highly enjoyable whisky made according to very high standards. Most importantly, it is distinctive, different, recognizable. It has its own DNA, unlike many other more generic malt whiskies on the market right now.
Photo: Master of Malt
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.