Here is another contemporary classic: the 16 yo that was the first release in Springbank’s recent’ish Local Barley series. I’ve previously reviewed the 11 yo that was the second release in the series and I liked that one a lot. Based on the coverage of this one I’m expecting to like it a lot too. Let’s see if that comes to pass.
Springbank 16, Local Barley (54.3%; from my own bottle)
Nose: An austere mix of mineral oil, sack cloth, lemon, brine and cracked coriander seed. On the second sniff some soot joins the party as well. Gets sweeter as it sits. With a few drops of water it gets brighter/more acidic and the soot expands as well; some tart apple too under it all now.
Palate: Keeps the promise of the nose; less lemon more coriander seed (plus some mustard). Nice oily texture. The second sip emphasizes the smoke (soot and wet charcoal) and more of the mineral notes; some wax polish and mildly metallic notes too now. The lemon expands as it sits and the salt expands with it. With water there’s wet stones and peppery olive oil, slightly sweet. The soot expands as well, getting tarrier as it goes.
Finish: Long. Nothing new; just the good stuff from the palate fading out. Gets spicier as it goes and then leaves a slightly musty taste behind. As on the palate with water.
Comments: Oh, this is good. Quintessential bourbon cask Springbank. No fireworks, nothing over the top: just high quality, old-school austere whisky.
Rating: 90 points.
Ok, so I absolutely love the 11, the 10 is ok and the 9 is excellent. Do I ‘spring’ for a 16 on the auction market?
That is between you and your bank account.
As much as I love this whisky I would not pay the prices I am seeing bandied about online.
AND, there’s another to be released this month.