Campbeltown. The region that’s only sometimes included in the regions list.
At one time Cambeltown had more whisky makers in it’s city than any other region in Scotland. And then… I assume the 80s happened, because let’s be honest, even if it wasn’t, I feel fine blaming the 80s for something else.
Anyway, in the last few years, the region has been slowly coming back into force. If you’ve been around here you’ll see that Springbank gets a lot of love. And Springbank deserves it.
End of post, right? Anyway, awhile ago I did a double review of Hazelburn, which is the other third of single malts from Springbank. And since I’m a peat fan, it’s only fair that I do Longrow, the heavily peated side of Springbank.
Up first, Longrow CV, because honestly, if you’re going to interview someone, you better read their CV first.
For those of you who didn’t get that joke, CV = resumé. I didn’t get that at first either, because I’m not British.
Longrow CV is made up of whiskies aged between 6 and 14 years, matured in sherry, port, bourbon and rum casks. It’s meant to be an entry into the whisky, and was a limited release, and not, as I assumed, the first release from the company that was since replaced.
I need to stop making shit up. Right after finishing all these pies and never gaining a pound.
Price: N/A at the LCBO anymore
Nose: Peat, chocolate, sea air, caramel, fuzzy peach, pot pourri, plantains
Lots of different flavours. Complex as anything. The rum elements, the sherry influence, and there’s some saltiness as well.
Taste: Banana, molasses, cocoa, anise, ginger, caramel
The rum elements and sherry elements are quite forward, though the peated whisky still has a place among them.
Also, when the fuck did I start writing like David Attenborough? Sweet shit, this is sweet, has some complexity, and is interesting. There, now I feel normal again.
Finish: Raisin, peat, coffee, rubber, hazelnut, vanilla, sesame
Again, lots going on here, as it’s finish in so many different casks. Yet it works, somehow, and that’s impressive, because usually after 3 different casks, whisky just doesn’t taste right.
Conclusion: This is one of the better, if not the best, 4 cask finish whiskies I’ve ever had. It’s young, yet quite tasty.
1001 Whiskies to taste before you die review #179
101 Whiskies to try before you die review #47
Longrow Peated is the entry level into the Longrow family, and really should have been the one that I should have started with.
This is a NAS offering. I’ve heard some rumors that it’s 10 years old, but I wouldn’t trust those.
Here’s where I’m confused though: Some say that this is the CV in a new package. Others say it’s something different. For the purpose of this review, I’m saying it’s different, because it tasted different. To me. This may be proving I’m finally full of shit.
I know so many of you would be happy to finally have it happen. Not all of you, but some of you, so enjoy.
Price: N/A at the LCBO anymore
Nose: Pear, peat, cola, anise, baklava, violets, raspberry sponge cake
Sweeter than before, and more floral. It reminds me of a more floral peat than a blow-your-ass off peat from Islay.
The sweetness is a little harsh though.
Taste: Raspberry, zucchini flower, cocoa, lemon cake, balsamic, mint
Earthy, sweet, sweet, earthy… There’s two speeds, and one’s dirt ladies and gentlemen.
Finish: Taro, pepper, orange, curry, molasses, eucalyptus, strawberry
More sweet, some herbal notes, and then some more earth. Earth earth earth.
Conclusion: Will Smith should advertise for this whisky, just saying “Welcome to Earth” the whole time, over and over.
Maybe that’s a little harsh. It’s a floral peat, which I can enjoy, yet it’s too sweet. And kinda missing out on some things. I won’t turn it down, yet I’m not going to buy a bottle.
And last we have a special edition Longrow 7 year Gaja Barolo. Why? Because I can’t swap anyone for any of the Longbow 11 Red.
Well, that and this seems pretty sweet! It’s aged for 5.5 years in ex-Bourbon casks and then finished for 1.5 year in Barolo casks.
What the sweet turkey bombs are Barolo casks? Why they are casks that used to have Barolo wine, silly goose!
Barolo wine is a red wine from the North of Italy, and only made in the region of Barolo (what a coincidence, eh?). These wines are high in tannins, as they sit in the grapes longer than most. Oh, and they use 90+% Nebbiolo grapes, which are primarily used in Italian reds of the region and some surrounding regions.
So basically I’m hyped up about a finish I’ll probably never have again. I go erect for lesser things, let me tell you.
Bias Alert: And now it’s time for a Bias alert. And it’s a spoiler. I picked up a lot of orange from this whisky. Why’s that a problem? You see, I bake.
Stop being so surprised, I know I’m normally so manly what with the dick jokes and the Dungeons and Dragons talk and all that.
Anyway, I don’t like Orange in baking. So if you do, add some points to my score and ignore my belly aching.
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Colour: Light orange
Nose: Orange, orange cake, smoke, brown sugar, currant, cardamon, ginger, fresh grass
Did I mention Orange? Cause Orange. Seriously, this dram should come with some guy saying a knock knock joke about Bananas.
Takes a bit to open up, given it’s so young. Yet once it does, it’s really nice and spicy. Though I’m having trouble getting over the orange scent.
Taste: Gingersnaps, orange, nutmeg, cinnamon, smoke, butterscotch
More orange, in case the nose was lacking in orange. Granted if the nose is lacking in orange for you, go live in an orchard in Florida. With a mink.
Again, given some time the spices come out to play, and even more time you get some butterscotch notes as well, which are appreciated, because they aren’t orange.
Finish: Peat, chocolate, mulled wine, chestnuts, toffee, spice cake, lots of malt
Holy damn the orange siege has been stopped. Long live the Orange. Thought I’d be Catholic by the end.
Spicy, tannic, and deep flavours on the finish. My favourite part. Watch out if you don’t like malt though. It’s there and then some.
Conclusion: So there’s a lot of orange, if you didn’t pick that up from my subtle hints.
That aside, I love the finish. It’s everything I wanted. The nose and taste? Not my thing, in the end. And I think it’s more so my bias here than anything else. If it only had a little orange, and maybe some more smoke, I think this would be an easy winner.
1001 Whiskies to taste before you die review #180
Scotch reviews #239-241, Campbeltown reviews #11-13, Whisky Network Reviews #366-368