Origin: Campbeltown (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Sherry Oloroso
Added coloring: No
Owner: J & A Mitchell & Co Ltd.
Average price: € 174.00
Official website: springbank.scot
As many readers may be aware, the output of Springbank, Campbeltown’s most popular distillery, is bottled 80% as Springbank, 10% as Longrow (as a peated version at 50/55 ppm, first released in 1985) and another 10% as Hazelburn (after being distilled three times).
Today we have the opportunity to taste a limited edition of Longrow, distilled in September 2003, matured entirely in ex-Sherry Oloroso casks and bottled in July 2018 at 57.8% ABV, in its natural colour and without chillfiltration, in 9,000 now hard to find bottles.
In the glass we can admire a splendid caramel colour.
On the nose, the first impact is with a chimney smoke with an almost chewy consistency, with an equally full note of BBQ sauce. The heart of the whisky, however, is sweet, with hints of caramel, but also of hazelnuts, toffee and banana flambé, with a touch of sultanas and, at times, even a hint of Rum. On top of this already rather rich and layered aromatic profile comes an impression of polished furniture and a fragrance of pine resin. As the minutes pass, the sweetness increases in intensity without the smoke retreating one step. At times, the weight of the alcohol content is noticeable, but all in all the alcohol seems well integrated.
On the palate, the mouthfeel is extremely peppery, with a smoke that smells of grilled meat generously drizzled with BBQ sauce. Here the sweeter notes seem intimidated by the thickness of the peat: caramel, toffee and pine resin remain a little in the background. The micro-hoppers help limit the considerable alcohol boost.
The finish is long, peppery and smoky, with just a little sweetness at the back of the tongue.
On the one hand, the profoundly peated nature of the distillate, on the other, the far from trivial influence of the former Sherry casks that housed it. The result is a dynamic, muscular and exuberant whisky, resembling the BBQ Pit Boy you can see here.