Springbank 16yo Local Barley- A Change of My Mind

Springbank has been regarded as one of favourite distilleries among whisky lovers. I have a lot of whisky friends love to drink Springbank very much. However, it has not been my case sadly. Springbank has not been my cup of 'whisky' and perhaps I do not know how to appreciate the style.

I was added to one facebook group about Springbank and have seen so many whisky lovers around the world owning and praising a recent release. I was in a bar last night and saw that bottling, meanwhile my friend who works there also recommended that bottle to me. I was curious to have a dram and see if it would change my mind of Springbank.

According to the information from Springbank website, the bottle of Springbank 16 years old Local Barley is the first in a series of five expressions to be released over five years. The whisky was distilled from barley grown at Low Machrimore Farm in Southend, a few miles outside of Campbeltown. It has been bottled at 54.3% with only 9,000 bottles available globally. The whisky was matured in 80% ex-bourbon casks and 20% ex-sherry casks.

Speaking of local barley, I feel like a trend that more distilleries are starting to release some special versions with their local barley. Bruichladdich and Kilchoman are the most well-known ones with their local barleys. For Springbank, this is actually not the first time to have the local barley version. To trace some history records, there were several local barley releases from mid-90's to 2001 with vintages 1965 and 1966.

Springbank 1999/2016, 16yo Local Barley, 54.3%, limited edition, 9000 bottles

Appearance: M(-) gold

Aroma: First comes with pear, semi-ripe apple, unripe banana, lightly peated, savoury, a bit vegetal like cabbage, a hint of dry seaweed and iodine, white pepper. After 5 to 10mins, the aroma is more opened. A lot of fruit sweetness and spices can be found. The apple aroma is more ripened. Spiced apple, apple peel, a hint of cardamom and cumin. Very balance and integrated aroma, mild and comfortable.

Palate: Medium body, ripe apple, spiced apple, apple peel, vanilla, sponge cake, hint of floral and honey water. A mix of dry and sweet spices like white pepper, cardamom and a wee hint of cinnamon. There is also a hint of peat but not as obvious as in the nose.

Aftertaste: Medium to (+) length. Spiced apple, apple peel, honey water and a bit of savoury

Conclusion: It is quite smooth and balance for this Springbank. Really mild, smooth and comfortable to drink. A well integrated and complex whisky that gives out more characters and tastes/ aroma as time goes by. It is so far the best Springbank I ever tasted, even compare to new versions of 18 and 21yo. I do enjoy this dram very much and really look forward for next 4 releases. It looks like I have to join the club to grab the upcoming local barley bottles into my collection as I know that it is too late for me now to find any bottles at a reasonable price for this release. A superb dram, nothing to complain! -90points

我發現身邊有很多酒友和歐洲這邊的威士忌愛好者都很喜歡雲頂這家酒廠, 但它從來都不是我的菜, 不知道是不是不合我口味還是我不懂得欣賞, 一直都未喝到一支覺得很好喝的. 在近一兩個月我見我其中一個Facebook有關雲頂蒸餾廠的群組內, 很多威友都張貼了一瓶特別版的相片, 而且他們對這酒的評價很高, 昨晚剛巧在朋友工作的酒吧中看見這支, 他也二話不說的極力向我推介, 在好奇心的驅使下, 便點了這款特別版一試.

這款雲頂是1999年蒸餾, 2016年裝瓶, 使用來自本地的大麥釀製的威士忌, 大麥的來源是位於距離坎培爾鎮南面大概9英里, Southend鎮的Low Machrimore農田. 這款威士忌是用80% 波本桶加上20%雪莉桶熟成, 酒精濃度為54.3%, 全球限量9000瓶. 要追溯上一次雲頂推出本地大麥的限量版, 已經是2001年的事, 從90年代中期到2001年, 雲頂推出了五款分別於1965及1966年蒸餾的威士忌, 但之後都沒有發行直到今年, 這次的本地大麥也是作連續五年的版本推出.

這款16年酒十分平衡, 柔和, 順口, 複雜度甚高, 會隨時間而慢慢變化和開放, 是令我愛不釋手而且想繼續添飲的好酒! 這確實改變了我對雲頂的感覺, 是我喝過最好的雲頂, 比起新版的18, 21年有過之而無不及, 真的「最心痛是, 愛得太遲」! 我想現在應該很難找到一瓶售價比較合理的這版, 只好從下一版開始跟其他雲頂的粉絲一起收集吧! -90分

#singlemalt #whisky #reviews #Scotch #Campbeltown #Springbank

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