This bottling, launched at the end of 2017, is the third of five annual "local barley" releases announced by Springbank in 2016. It comes after the first release, a 16-year old, and the second release, an 11-year old. This third release was made with barley from the West Backs Farm in Campbeltown, 70% getting matured in ex-bourbon casks and 30% matured in ex-sherry casks. It was distilled in June 2007 and bottled in November 2017 with a total outturn of 9,000 bottles.
The nose begins with distinct notes of malted barley and fudge, followed by oranges and lemons. Later on, the oranges turn into orange peel, and there are notes of cinnamon and a hint of salt. Sweetness and salt, perfectly balanced - this nose is truly exquisite!
The palate is medium-bodied and wonderfully oily. The flavours of oranges and lemons are back, now together with notes of marzipan and, again, a touch of salt. At the very end I got a whiff of smoke.
The finish is long and warming. Sweet flavours of caramel and honey combine with salty notes and turn into rather earthy flavours before ending with some soft smoke.
This reminded me a lot of the 11-year old release although I'd consider it a little bit better balanced. I loved the oily character of the palate and the interplay between sweet and salty flavours. Quite complex but also very drinkable, this is another great Springbank release.