[Review] Longrow - 18 years old (2016) 46%

Second review in one month, and more Campbeltown whisky courtesy of @whisky_whims with the second sample Stuart sent to me: Longrow 18. Like with Kilkerran, I am looking at a peated single malt from Campbeltown but this one is a little older and was aged in ex-rum casks for 60% of it and refill sherry casks for the remaining 40%. 

Longrow is produced by the Springbank distillery. Springbank is their mildly peated single malt and has been distilled two and a half times. Hazelburn is the name of their triple distilled non-peated single malt, and Longrow is their double distilled highly peated single malt. Longrow 18 is released in small batches each year but the casks used vary from year on year so do check the bottling date printed in black underneath the back label to know which one you have in your hand!

That you very much again to Stuart for this great sample. Go and have a look at Whisky Whims' YouTube channel and check out his review of this Longrow 18!

Slàinte!


As mentioned above, this Longrow 18 was aged 60% in ex-rum casks and 40% in ex-sherry. It was bottled at 46%, unchillfiltered and with E150. The colour is pale gold:

Nose: Sweet and citric, green apples, mild peat, a little mineral and salty, slight damp wood fire, boiled sweets and gummy bears, licorice, multi purpose oil (what you would use for tools in a workshop!), rubber and brown sugar

Palate: Sweet arrival with honey before moving to some mineral notes, wood smoke, a little acrid, earthy and vegetal, some pepper in there as well as ripe mango sweetness. The rum notes were not all obvious at first but become more present with a little bit of time in the glass

Finish: The nose is quite sweet and fruity, the palate is sweet first before evolving and the finish is not that sweet. I get ash and wet coal, some oak and spices, a little tar and rubber wrapped in just a hint of brown sugar. Quite drying!

With water: A few drops of water and the nose becomes sweeter, losing a lot of minerality. The palate is sweeter too and so is the finish. I feel that the experience has been dumbed down, the whisky has lost quite a bit of its complexity. 

Overall a very enjoyable dram which I would definitely keep away from water. I always find myself wondering the same thing at the end of a sample: "Would I buy a full bottle?" And I find my answer quite surprising today. I love Springbank, I have tried some Longrow that I enjoyed in the past, this one is very decent too, but I just don't think I would be prepared to buy a bottle of this actual Longrow 18. And the problem is I am not really sure of the reason why. It is good but I find it a little acrid and not rounded enough so it doesn't really leave me craving for more. I wonder whether the ex-rum casks maturation has anything to do with it as I have tried a few single malts aged in ex-rum casks and am still to find one to my taste.
Picture courtesy of Abbey Whisky

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