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Monday, August 5, 2019

Longrow 14 year old 2001 for Springbank Society

Last week was NOT one of my favorite review weeks. This week I'm going to try a pair of single sherry casks from Springbank distillery that should be less unusual.

The first one is a Longrow that was bottled for members of the Springbank Society. I'm not a member of that glamorous club but Sjoerd is. Wish me luck here...

Distillery: Springbank
Brand: Longrow
Region: Campbeltown
Age: 14 years (October 2001 - October 2016)
Maturation: fresh sherry butt
Outturn: 600 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 53.2%
Chillfiltered? No
Color added? No
(from a purchased sample)

Clean, dry sherry on the nose, especially clean compared to last week's quirky Qampbeltowns. There's a salty ocean air note, soot, coal and a little bit of fig. Small notes of apricots, brown sugar and pinot noir. The palate is fruitier than the nose. Dried stone fruits meet tart citrus. Moderate sweets and moderate peats. A slight salty broth note in the background. Tangy citrus, dried cranberries and fresh ginger in the finish. Hints of salt, earth and grape jam.

DILUTED TO ~46%abv, or < 1 tsp of water per 30mL whisky
More dried fruits on the nose now. The smoke reads softer. Beach and blossom notes. Something very Springbank 10 about it (yes, I know that's not helpful). At first there's lots of tart fruit in the palate. Mild peppery smoke. Some bitterness. Gradually it shifts to a fruity sherry and the smoke fades out. Sugary sherry, black pepper and smoky residue in the tangy finish.

This was a very good cask that was bottled at just right time. It's never woody, yet there's plenty of rich sherry that never chokes out the distillery's spirit. It was the very thing I needed.

This is another one of many bottlings that blur the line between the Springbank and Longrow styles. I've had Springbanks that feel like they come from south Islay. And there have been Longrows lots of fruit and subtle peat. This happens with single casks and small batches with some age on them. Otherwise, there's a significant distance between Springbank 10 and Longrow Peated. Perhaps time and fortified wine casks are the equalizers? Whatever this is I don't remember experiencing it 5+ years ago. It's not a criticism, just an observation.

Also this is a good whisky.

Availability - Secondary market
Pricing - ???
Rating - 88