It seems that my opinionated review of the 16 year old Local Barley on Friday ruffled some feathers at Springbank, and I got quite a bit flack for suggesting that the distillery was in any way unfair in its pricing strategy. So much so, that I published a very (very!) rare clarification on the blog post itself, which you can see here.
I have seen great passion and dedication on the part of the distillery employees (one of whom was on vacation, and took the time to comment and set things straight) and of fans of the distillery, and this is heartwarming. Indeed, there are few distilleries that evoke so much passion and personal commitment as Springbank is able to do. And why not? The distillery is as close to its community as can be, and is as close craft distilling as they get, with a solid commitment both to quality and to value. My feeling that the 16 Local Barley was overpriced is a specific comment, which does not detract from the high regard in which I hold Springbank and its integrity.
OK, so one of the great pleasures of so many of my fellow aficionados, is getting hooked on a specific type of style or finish, and among my friends, rum casks rank pretty high on the list. And when it comes to rum casks, few can beat Springbank, with a supply of fresh rum casks, many specifically from Jamaica.
Springbank 15 year old Fresh Rum Cask 4/2000-9/2015, For The Nectar, Belgium, 198 Bottles (46.5 ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Straw, ring letting off droplets slow.
Nose: Very syrupy sweetness with the dirty Springbank character. Licorice and fennel seeds, with a very pronounced demerara sugar sweetness with a hint of peat and a hint of vanilla.
Palate: The peat comes through with an almost piney quality. Not overtly sweet, with a layer of it just beyond the actual taste, if that makes sense.
Linger: Peaty and lightly spicy, with hints of pepper and some paprika, and the rum playing. A long tingle remains, like after sipping too quickly on hot tea, and not much else.
Good, fun bottling, not something that will knock your socks off, but not every good bottle of whisky needs to blow you away. Good, solid whisky is just that…