Longrow CV was replaced by Longrow Peated almost two years ago. I had become very attached to the CV (see here for my review from two years ago and then a second review here) as I have to many recently discontinued whiskys. In fact, more than half of The Cabinet is made up of recently retired bottlings or earlier versions of "refreshed" whisky ranges. I had no doubt that Longrow Peated (or LP) would be drinkable -- especially since I adore Longrow malts -- but, you know, it was so difficult to say good-bye to something that had quickly become like an old friend.
Like CV, LP has no age statement. It doesn't seem to have the mix of cask maturations that CV had, instead likely being from primarily ex-bourbon barrels. And I wouldn't doubt that it holds younger whiskies within. But mostly the issue was that LP is not CV. New could not equal Old.
But I bought a sample of LP for the inevitable day when a comparison would need to be done.
|Here's the link to the Longrow 10 review posted yesterday|
I realized not too long ago, that due to the sort of year this has been, I was going to have to end it with this very matchup of Longrows. Here it goes.
Ages: between 6 and 14 years (likely 7, 10, & 14 years in this specific bottling)
Maturation: sherry, port, bourbon, and rum casks
Alcohol by Volume: 46%
The nose begins with some naked spirit: barley, oats, and rice with a twist of antiseptic. It's very herbal. And a hint of something grilled and savory. With some time in the glass, the whisky starts piping out sugary rum notes, fresh apricots, rich peat, tropical fruit-scented hand lotion, grapefruit peel, and brown sugar. I also wrote, one "can feel the excited youth." No matter how much oxidation theoretically occurred, the palate still packs a big bite. Lots of barley. Salt, vanilla, chimney smoke, and a medicinal bite (but not quite Laphroaig-sized). There's the grilled, savory note and herbs that are herbal (i rite gud) and green. It finishes full of malt and salt. Not sweet, just strong barley, sea salt, and yeast. Crisp, bready, and lengthy with the smoke ever lingering.
Ages: unknown, though likely younger than 10 years
Maturation: unknown, though my guess is ex-bourbon casks
Alcohol by Volume: 46%
The nose starts piney and fruitier than the CV. Pine nut cookies. Leather coat. Seaweed and some of Springbank's industrial funk. Then lemon meringue meets Cool Whip. Vanilla extract, grapefruit, and lavender bloom (but NOT the dreaded Bowmore lavender, instead something much fresher). On the palate: grains, grains, grains. Like unsweetened breakfast cereal. Twigs, dried leaves, and earl grey tea. A very mild alcohol bite considering its youth. A tangy Asian sauce and tart peat. It feels mostly oak free, which is a thumbs-up from me. The tangy note stays in the finish. Like the CV, it's not sweet. There's a little salt, something oily, some vanilla, a hint of cigar smoke, and lots of toasted grains.
Guess what? Longrow Peated ain't bad. In fact, it's pretty darn good. It's not a complicated drink and its phenolics feel milder than my oxidized CV. But it's solid in its leanness. I'm thinking there must be a considerable refill cask contingent here, no matter what those casks had previously held, which in turn highlights the good distillate within. And this makes me happy. While it probably won't knock CV off its pedestal, Longrow Peated will find a home in my cabinet at some point in 2014.
As for CV, I still like it as much as I had in its previous two reviews, so its rating doesn't change. But as I part with 2013, I part with my old whisky. May the new year bring many more new discoveries.