Springbank 16yo Local Barley (2016)
Installment two during Springbank Week on Words of Whisky features one of the most hyped Springbank releases of recent years. The Springbank 16yo Local Barley is a hype whisky, which usually means expensive marketing and subpar whisky. But in this case it was hyped for all the right reasons.
The Local Barley bottlings from 1965 and 1966 have become downright legends. I’ve only ever tasted one, during a masterclass by Frank McHardy, but it was clear to me that there’s a good reason why these old Local Barley’s are highly sought after (and super expensive).
Anyway, because of the reputation of the old ones, the expectations for the new Springbank 16yo Local Barley was really high. People were anxious to get their hands on a bottle and it quickly sold for a lot more than the original retail price.
The barley used for this Springbank is local (duh!). All of it originates from Low Machrimore Farm in Southend, only a few miles outside of Campbeltown. A total of 9.000 bottles were released.
Springbank 16yo Local Barley (54,3%, OB)
Nose: Dirty and briny with only a subtle peat influence. There’s some sweet butterscotch as well as vanilla, which in turn is kept in check by lemon zest. Also straw and some wood shavings.
Taste: Oily. Like really nice and fat and oily. Love it. A bit of salt. Very maritime. And subtle peat of course. But wait… there’s more! Some white pepper, cloves as well as a touch of lemon. Not too complex, but oh so tasty and balanced.
Finish: Sweet vanilla with brine, peat and pepper. Warming and long.
Truly brilliant stuff. That oiliness! Love it 🙂
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.