It is always nice to try the latest Springbank Local Barley. I met Thijs Klaverstijn the other day in Denmark and he kindly offered me a sample. Thanks mate!
While the vintage and the type of barley are the same as the Local Barley 2021 edition (Belgravia from Glencraigs Farm), the cask distribution is different. There is now 55% sherry, 35% bourbon and 10% rum in the mix. The first rum portion in the Local Barley series, right?
Springbank ‘Local Barley’ 11 yo 2011 (55,1%, OB 2022, 15000 btl.)
Nose: a rather gentle entry, on lemon sweets and lemon juice, followed by garden fruits (ripe pears and peaches). Then plenty of mineral notes. Wet gravel, limestone. A tweed jacket. Light metallic notes, after a while also harbour aromas like ropes and salty air. Becomes quite grassy after some time.
Mouth: a thick mouthfeel. Still some citrusy notes and a hint of creamy, sweet fruits, getting drier and more mineral quickly. Quite punchy with a hint of agave spirits. Then a lot of salt, a firm resinous hint and grasses. Engine oil. Green tobacco and walnuts. Less smoke than expected this year., perhaps less complexity as well.
Finish: quite long, chalky and mineral, with barley, salty notes and a little more maritime ashes now. A subtle citrus bitterness too.
Still really good, but this year and last year were clearly behind the early days. While offering the right elements, it remains a little straightforward. It is especially convincing on the palate, I’d say, and some people will definitely appreciate the raw edges. Don’t expect much sherry cask influence though (probably refill casks?). For me it deserves the same score as last year.