Springbank 9 Years Old Local Barley (2018)
Yes, it’s rather expensive for a 9 year old whisky. However, it is far from too expensive for the quality that it buys you.
This 9 year old Springbank is the fourth release in a series of five Local Barley releases in total, and the youngest Local Barley released so far. Also, they used Optic barley, one of the most commercial of barley types currently grown, and a far cry from the older varieties used for earlier iterations, such as Bere Barley and Prisma.
All of the above doesn’t really bode well, now does it? Well, let’s just say first impressions can be deceiving.
Springbank 9 Years Old Local Barley (57.7%, OB, 2018)
Nose: Very rich and full-bodied. Hints of tar and kerosene, with a whiff of bonfire smoke. It’s not all hell and brimstones though, far from it. There’s a honey-like sweetness, accompanied by cookie dough and sprinkles of lemon zest and grapefruit, as well as a subtle maritime influence. Becomes more minerally (is that a word?) with time.
Taste: Heavy and oily, with a big initial hit of lemon zest and lime, as well as pink grapefruit. Whispers of nectarines too. Followed by some brine and soft peat smoke, as well as a hint of menthol. So, so good.
Finish: More of the above. Long.
Fruit juice with Springbank smokiness. This can’t come as a surprise, but they really are doing something right in Campbeltown.
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.