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As you may know, there are three brands distilled at Springbank: Hazelburn, Springbank and Longrow. Longrow is the peatier version - in fact, all of the barley that goes into Longrow is peat dried (and strictly double distilled, unlike its two stablemates). The brand was an experiment first distilled in 1973 (but not brought to market), named after a long-defunct distillery that had once stood next door. It finally came out in 1985, and became a regular release in 1992.
I had trouble finding any info on this - it seems this expression came and went fairly quickly, which is surprising as I believe it was bottled in 2012. My sample came from a bottle that someone brought to a tasting quite some time ago. It is 11 years old, with four of those years being double matured in new world cabernet sauvignon casks (hence the name). Interesting...
The colour is a slightly reddish deep amber. On the nose, very briny and peaty, with buttered toast, black cherries (and a touch of black olives?) and bandages. More restrained than most Longrows. Certainly has a winey influence to it. Quite herbal, with sage and oregano. Very complex, meaty and vegetal. Water seems to just dilute the nose and nothing more, which is surprising given the high ABV.
On the palate, quite a bit of heat but I get those red fruit berry gummies - which is not great - creating an artificial fruitiness. Very spicy, with paprika and cayenne. Not as peaty as you might think, but it is there. It is as if the Longrow character is being pushed aside to make room for that sweet candied berry quality - which is interesting but not quite to my taste. Water does do a little bit more here - it ups the brine and peat, which is nice.
The finish is fairly shortish, I think - winey but with that sweet artificial berry quality that doesn't quite work. I find this a very quixotic malt - the qualities of the spirt clash with the qualities of the cab-sauv cask. Very interesting - but it doesn't quite work. The lack of information I could find on this malt speaks to it's failure in the marketplace, I suppose.