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Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Springbank 10 year old Local Barley, 2017 release

I loved, LOVED, Springbank's 16 year old Local Barley release, and I'm certain I scored it too low. Then I liked, LIKED, their followup, the 11 year old Local Barley. So it's about time I wrote something about their third Local Barley.

If I'm not mistaken, the Local Barleys were to be a five-part series, and the fifth release dropped a couple months ago. While I hope the LBs continue, but I doubt I'm ever gong to buy another bottle. As with the 11yo, the 10's price tag did not inspire me to make a purchase. I don't blame that on Springbank, it's more an issue with their importer, and the irrational exuberance of the secondary market. But I am thankful to have gotten in on a bottle split of this third edition.

Distillery: Springbank
Brand: Springbank
Owner: Springbank Distillers Ltd.
Region: Campbeltown, on Well Close, just off of Longrow
Age: 10 years (June 2007 - November 2017)
Barley: Belgravia, from West Backs Fram
Maturation: 70% bourbon casks and 30% ex-sherry casks
Outturn: 9,000 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 57.3%
(from a bottle split)

The nose is young and barleyful. Peach candy, flower blossoms and LOTS of citronella. Fresh basil and thyme. More moss and dried leaves than peat. The palate is very clean, fruity and pretty. Grapefruits, kiwis, pineapples and lemons. It never gets too sweet and it's nearly peat-free. The finish mirrors the palate, with maybe a little more tart citrus. A bit brief though.

DILUTED TO 46%abv, or 1½ tsp of water per 30mL whisky
Getting even closer to newmake now. Toasted barley, wort and eau de vie lead the nose. Cinnamon (cassia bark) and gentle wood smoke linger underneath. Eau de vie leads the palate as well. Then yeast, sweet apples, saltines, cucumber skin and cassia bark. The sweet finish is all barley, yeast and cassia.

Can a whisky be cute? Because this is an adorable little baby whisky. Yeah it has a 10 year old age statement but it comes across about half that age, yet it's still a quality drink and I enjoy having a chance to have something from Springbank that's so close to the spirit. Like Monday's rum cask Springbank, it's missing depth/complexity/angles/etc though it's still very pleasant. A shame about the price. Again.

Availability - Secondary market
Pricing - probably near $200
Rating - 84