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Tasted a glass of the CV tonight at the pub. It is perhaps a flawed dram in terms of the way all of the elements comingle in the glass, but I was charmed by it. The smoke is quite nice and I was surprised that I enjoyed the tequila-like overtones. Yes, they are in the dram, but they don't overpower.
Neither was I off-put by the phantom hint of rubber, which is very minor and not any sort of problem to me. It is so minor, in fact, that I shall not list it in my tasting notes.
Nose: Grass fire, hay, reptile musk, lovely hint of peat, virgin olive oil, ash, peppermint.
Palate: A very unconventional exchange: Lemon, pan fried rattle snake, mesquite smoke, sea salt caramel, anejo tequila, mescal, peaty goodness.
Finish: The oily and the spicy intertwine and then release with lingering peat and smoke, with a touch of oaken wood in there.
This whisky is very strange, although I have tasted tequila-like and/or mescal-like influences in other whiskies from time to time. Such overtones are not unheard of, certainly, but rare all the same.
As a result of the glass I tasted at the pub, I have managed to acquire a bottle of this whisky even though it is hard to come by where I live. The Longrow CV is not something I would stockpile, certainly, but one bottle is a welcome and eccentric change. For me, it is the elusive "reptile" of whiskies.
LCV may not be the "lizard king" as such, and it may not be able to do "anything," as Jim Morrison once crooned, but it is nonetheless charismatically cunning in its reptilian ability to charm the receptorssssss of sssssome humanssssss, like myself.
I find this whisky to the be, in many respects, the anti-thesis of most bourbons, which are sharp where this is dull, sweet where this is spicy, and high where this is low. Be this as it may, there are some herbal notes in the LCV, such as peppermint, that are certainly also present in some very good bourbons. I have yet to taste the HIgh West Campfire, however. With that, I suspect all bets are off.