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Longrow 1997 14 Year Old Burgundy Wood

A Gem Revisited

0 593

@MaltActivistReview by @MaltActivist

15th Aug 2014


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

I have a confession to make. Actually a confession made on the back of a revelation.

About a couple of years ago I picked up this Longrow to satisfy my ever increasing curiosity for Campbeltown. To be fair I didn't know much about it and relied on the salesman to pick something out for me.

A couple of months after purchasing it I had a poker night at my place and one of the guys wanted to have a taste. I duly obliged. He liked it. I wasn't too impressed.

As it turns out he has much better taste in whisky than I do. Not only did I not think much of it I had the gall to write a review about it and label it average. This was, of course, over two years ago. In my defense I live in Dubai so two years is actually closer to eight in whisky years. You know, because of the temperature. So I think I can be forgiven for being naive.

This 14 year old gem has been matured for 11 years in bourbon barrels and then for a further three in French Burgundy Casks. It's peated like all Longrows are and it's served up at a juicy 56.1%

Nose: Warm dark honey. Natural caramel. Toast. Cranberries. Malt butter. Cherries. Red licorice. Star anise. Cinnamon. Tannins. Mint leaf. Cured meats. And that lovely peat.

Palate: Strong cinnamon. Clove. Dark cocoa. Coffee beans. Actually superbly roasted coffee beans. And spices. Roasted too. Burnt sweet caramel. The delivery is full bodied and the flavors brilliantly balanced.

Finish: What a finish! Long, oily and chewy. Minty with lots of coffee. Cherries. Cinnamon. Warm Coca-Cola.

Thanks to my friend The Whisky Snob who raved about it so much he made me give this another go. Incidentally this score is 7 huge points above the last.

I was either stupid or the oxidization helped. I'm going with stupid.

Related Longrow reviews


Rigmorole commented

I don't think you were stupid. I haven't tasted it, and I'm not surprised it's really good, but the initial reviews were less than stellar. You had probably read some of those, as we all are want to do at times. . . .

6 years ago 0

Victor commented

Two years later? The air must also have changed it. The whisky could hardly have tasted just the same two years later after it was opened.

6 years ago 0

MaltActivist commented

@rigmorol - I'm pretty sure I was stupid. @Victor That's what I assumed as well. The transformation has been quite dramatic. I'm sure my changing preferences also played a role, though.

6 years ago 0

Nozinan commented

Maybe it's a Campbelltown phenomenon.

I felt the same way about the Springbank Claretwood. I thought it was "average" I opened it and a 12 YO CS early in my malt journey. It wasn't until a year later that I came back to it and it seemed like a completely different dram.

As for my second bottle of 12YO CS, it's only been open since January but (though it did start out good) has been improving each time I come back to it.

So maybe it's air, and partly palate maturation.

6 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

Springbanks are notorious for improving over six or eight months with some oxygen in the bottle

6 years ago 0

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