It’s about time I’ll review the third (and latest) Springbank Local Barley release, the 10 Year Old distilled from Belgravia barley, following the 16 Year Old Prisma Barley and 11 Year Old Bere Barley releases of previous 2 years.
This time it’s a 10 year old, the youngster in the series so far, distilled in June 2007 and bottled November 2017. Also of notice is that this time, there are 30% sherry casks in the mix (70% Bourbon) unlike the first two releases who were matured exclusively in Bourbon casks.
As in the previous Local Barley releases, 9000 bottles were released globally and most of them were snagged away within minutes of release in the local markets and what’s still available out there is usually priced way above RRP.
Springbank 10 Year Old Local Barley (57.3%, €124,95)
Nose: Sweet red fruit with red apples, a touch of strawberry and even mountain ash (rowan). Then there’s the familiar Campbeltown funk, peat smoke, greenery (but sweet), not much oils and fumes this time (I think the sherry casks tamed some of it), spicy honey, sour berries. With more time there’s less sourness and funk and instead there’s a s sweeter red fruitiness and machines oil. Overall soft and great nose.
Palate: Somewhat dry, sweet red fruit, sour bittersweet smoke, fizzy and dry peat, subtle greenery, gentle oak spices, nutmeg, green cardamom and pepper.
Finish: Medium short length, hot, sweet and funky, lingering sweet red fruit funk.
Thoughts: It’s pretty good. It’s surely more user-friendly and accessible than its’ predecessor, but still it’s not as good as the first one in the series, the 16 Year Old. They sherry casks mellowed this one out, giving extra spices and red fruit sweetness and you may say it’s the most mainstream of the series so far with some resemblance to the official 12 Year Old.