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I had picked up a bottle of this, now discontinued, peated expression a few years ago. Having decided I wasn't ready at the time to savor it's charms I let it grace my shelf all this while. Until last night, that is.
I have always been fascinated by Campbeltown expressions, especially the stuff that comes out of Sprinbank. They produce three expressions the year round. The unpeated Hazelburn, the lightly peated Springbank and the 'heavily' (by Campbeltown standards) peated Longrow.
For me it was a case of irrational fascination followed by a realization that these flavors were something I could really sink my teeth into. Because the Longrow can take some getting used to I tell you. But when you do it's oh so worth it.
The CV (for Curriculum Vitae - yes, you read that right) is Springbank Distilleries' way of introducing consumers to the different flavor profiles that they represent. So in the case of this Longrow the spirit inside the bottle comprises of three different vintages and four types of oak.
Six years old whisky from bourbon casks, ten years old from port and rum casks, and 14 years old from sherry casks blended together to produce this fine expression. My sample is from a brand new bottle and served at 46%
Nose: Mild peat. Lemon. Orange sweets. Hint of salt. Sweet caramel. Touch of sulphur - enough to be noticed and not enough to cause pain. Grass. Greens. Rice pudding. Husk. Cereal. Cardboard. Golden syrup. Black sesame creme brulee. It's a controlled nose. I like it.
Palate: Starts off savory. Mild peat. Rice husk. Mild peppers. Brown bread. Starts getting sweeter mid-palate. Sugarcane juice. The delivery is medium bodied and I like how it changes while still on the tongue.
Finish: Long. Peat. Ash. Soot. The finish really kicks in the charcoals much more strongly than either the nose or the palate.
I like how it journeys from mildly sweet on the nose to savory on the palate and finally quite charred on the finish. Tells me that the spirit is complex and successfully draws from it's so many influences.
This has now been replaced by the NAS Longrow Peated which I haven't had a gander at. Various opinions tell this was not a happy change but I won't comment on that until I. pick one up for my self. Till then I'm quite happy to have this one sitting uncorked on my shelf.