Tag Archive: Longrow


Longrow Red (2015 Ed - Pinot Noir Finish)

Longrow: Red (2015 Ed – Pinot Noir Finish) (Scottish Campbeltown Single malt Whisky: 12 year: 52.9% ABV)

Visual: Rose wine to mahogany red.

Viscosity: Fast middle thickness streaks.

Nose: Peaty. Light cherryaid. Burnt caramel. Shortbread. Water makes sulphur like, and more water brings out rose wine.

Body: Smooth. Glacier cherry. Beef broth. Alcohol tingle if held on tongue. Cherryaid. Rose wine. Thick. Treacle notes. Water adds sugared orange peel, red grapes, and seven spice. More cherryaid comes out. More water brings out more cherries and adds some vanilla.

Finish: Dried beef slices. Mixed spice. Red grapes. Dry. Light vanilla custard. Blackcurrants or blackcurrant jam. Water makes more spicy. Malt chocolate, smoke and toffee.

Conclusion: People give me evil looks when I say this has cherryaid notes. Maybe I am lacking in cooth to dare say such things. But, seriously, they are there – I’m guessing it is the unusual side of the Pinot Noir influence. They are there neat and become much more evident with water. So, cherryaid, is this a good or a bad thing?

Well, it is an odd thing. The traditional peaty, dried beef character of Longrow comes right up against artificial sugar drinks with deep red spicy grapes in the middle keeping the two opposite poles apart. Definitely not your traditional whisky experience.

Id say the sweetness is probably so prominently in my mind as it such a contrast to the rest of the whisky. It probably isn’t as sweet as I am imagining it, but in relation to the heavy peat whisky it sits within it seems very big.

The sweetness is the outlier though, so it is probably more helpful to examine the rest of the whisky. The deep spicy blackcurrant and red grapes suits the peaty character nicely, taking it into dark rich depths. It definitely suits water as well. While the whisky is smooth neat, if burning if held too long, water opens it up and lets you hold it and take your time to examine the flavours at your leisure. Water also lets out the soft toffee which acts as a more well balances sweetness than the more cherryaid notes in the neat expression, it sooths rather than stands out from the main whisky.

There still is the sweet cherryaid notes but they are better integrated. It never quite reaches the height of awesome that the gaja barolo aged Longgrow, but it definitely has depth to it. Probably has a lot of elements that some people think whisky should not be, especially a peated whisky, but it is fun and different and deep.

and cherryaid.

Background: I tried this a while back at the Bristol Whisky Show, so was keeping an eye out for it getting released. Still nearly missed it, thankfully Robbie’s Whisky Merchants still had some in – Chris from Independent Spirit point them out to me – many thanks! This was finished in New Zealand Pinot Noir casks for one year after 11 years in bourbon casks and is one of 9000 bottles. Drunk while listening to some Dirty Knobs for atmosphere.

Longrow 10

Longrow: 10 Year: 1995 (Scottish Campbeltown Single Malt Whisky: 10 Years: 46% ABV)

Visual: Custard gold.

Viscosity: Moderate speed and thickness streaks.

Nose; Peat smoke. Pencil shavings. Beef slices. Oak. Water lightens to sulphur and grass.

Body: Lime jelly. Peat. Smoke and oak. Dried beef. Peppercorn. Custard sweetness. Crusty brown bread. Warming. Water makes broth like and grassy. Slight crème brulee balance against the peat. Malt chocolate.

Finish: Peppercorn. Beef slices. Light custard cream biscuits. Malt chocolate. Paprika touch. Water makes grassy, wet rocks and salt.

Conclusion: In a right and fair world I could just say “Springbank. 10 Year. But Peatier” However this is not a right and fair world. Or, more correctly, I get the feeling most of you lot would think I was cheating. So, let’s give this a go.

Taken neat, it is pretty much the essential character of a peated whisky. Smoke, beef character, light sweetness and warming. It has its own peppercorn flourish, but really it shows mainly the base element of how to make a peated whisky. It is warming but not burning, rough edged but not harsh. The additional element of the peppercorn is lovely though, that touch of spiciness, but slightly grounded. It complements the beefy main dish of the whisky.

Where it shows that Campbeltown style is when you add water. That Springbank grassiness comes out, and a touch of brown sugar or crème brulee sweetness shows deep beneath the smoke. It’s the old friend of Springbank showing it’s head. You now have a rustic, grassy character, as defining for Campbeltown as Islay has its iodine and salt sea breeze, but here in peated joy.

As everyone know, I love Springbank, and I love peat, so this is right up my street. For old times sake I have to give the nod to Springbank over this, but frankly they are both wonderful complex, warming and welcoming whisky. Try one, the other, or both, you are never let down.

Background: At the time I took the photo of this bottle I thought the 1995 labelling as a bit odd, as that would have been bottled near ten years ago. Looking online it seems to be a thing, I’ve seen a few specifically 1995 bottlings. Anyway, Longrow is Springbank’s more peaty bottling. I found this at Brewdog Bristol and used it to round off a short session.

J & A Mitchells: Longrow: Gaja Barolo Cask (Scottish Campbeltown Single Malt Whisky: 7 Years Old: 55.8%ABV)

Visual: Thick gold.

Viscosity: A smattering of middling streaks form after a few moments.

Nose: Vanilla and spice, light pencil shavings. Rounded oak and a hint of peat. The peat becomes more distinct with water and adds slight grassiness and honeycomb.

Body: Smooth, rich blackcherry and peat. Sweet syrup, a tender meat texture like aged beef. Raspberry. Water ands toffee and raisins.

Finish: More peat, sherried raisins. Steak. Alcohol burn becomes noticeable here. Water adds a malts element to the air and light chocolate.

Conclusion: Possibly one of the greatest whiskys I’ve tasted, and intense yet balanced mix of peat, spice and fruit. It is wonderful neat, and can open up magnificently with water.

This whisky perfectly marries many distinct elements, and despite its youth it gives amazing quality to each element. A true treat like a high class dessert, a steak dinner and fine wine all rolled into one.

So yeah, give it a try.

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