Longrow 14 Years


”Digging in the Dirt”


Whisky Review # 903

Country: Scotland
Region: Campbeltown
Brand: Longrow
Distilled at: Springbank Distillery, Campbeltown in September 2003
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky - Bottled in July 2018 - 9000 Bottles
Age: 14 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 57.8% (Around Cask Strength)
Maturation: Refill Oloroso Sherry Casks
Chill Filtration: No
Sample provided by Mauricio from Brazil. Many thanks!
Price Range: US$ 180-220 (February 2021)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😐 It's quite expensive but it's a limited Edition
Buying Advice: 😋 Delicious Dirty Pleasure!

Colour: Chestnut (Natural Color)

Nose:

Please give this Longrow sufficient time in the glass before Nosing. There's some initial wafts of Alcohol and Sulphur you might wish to avoid. This is, thanks God, a long way from Mainstream Malt. This smells authentic and a little Dirty. My first thought was like looking for an old book in a leather cover on a dusty shelf in a Dunnage Warehouse in Campbeltown. Hope you get the picture. You might perhaps expect a Peat monster but that's not the case. Peat and Smoke are there of course but they remain quietly in the background. I'm not a huge fan of Sulphur but here it seems to work somehow. In short, I like it! It's quite Sweet by the way with a few Sour notes for balance.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Barley, Slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Soft Cold Smoke, Earthy Peat, Pine, Leather, Dusty Book Shelves, Dunnage Warehouse, Mixture of Straw and Manure, English Marmalade, Dark Chocolate, Munster Cheese, Pepper and Mint.
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanilla, Molasses, Salted Caramel, Hospital, Diesel, Brine, Old Driftwood, Oak Char, Ashes, Sour Wine, Lemon, Grapefruit, Green Apples, Bacon on the BBQ, Wet Stone, Slightly Burnt Herbs, Tobacco, Dark Berries, Slivovitz, Ginger and a hint of Rubber.

Palate:

Quite strong and Intense. A delightful mix of Sweet, Sour and slightly Bitter Notes. The Alcohol is there but in a good way and so is the Sulphur that might feel a bit overdone to some but somehow it works here for me. Smoke is more prominent at this point.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Salted Caramel, Cold Smoke, Dirty Earthy Peat, Iodine, Hospital, Bacon, Fish and Burnt Pineapple on the BBQ, Leather, Old Books, Dunnage, Apple, Grapefruit, Dark Berries, Orange, Lemon, Pepper, Cloves and Cinnamon.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Vanilla, Molasses, Burnt Heather, Pine & Herbs, Soot, Tar, Cigar Ashes, Wet Stones, X-mas Cake with lots of Sultanas, Dried Plums and Raisins, Charred Oak, Munster Cheese, Ginger, Nutmeg, Mint and an Espresso served with Bitter Mint-Chocolate.
  
     

Finish:

Middle-Long/Long and on the Dry side. A mix of Sweet, Bitter and Sour notes. The Alcohol is quite noticeable but not in a bad way. Much more Cold Smoke here than I would have expected after Nosing. There's certainly Sulphur around but it sort of combines with the slightly Dirty character of this Longrow. This is not for everyone, nor for everyday but it makes me smile and that's what interesting Whisky is all about. I find Toasted Barley, slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Molasses, Cold Smoke, Earthy Peat, Brine, Hospital, Iodine, Soot, Tar, Ashes, Pine, Dark Berries, Plums, Sultanas, Grapefruit, Orange, Leather, Tobacco, Bacon on the BBQ, Charred Oak, Dark Chocolate, Bitter Espresso, Pepper, Mint and Plastic.

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and that increases the Sherry Cask influence. Lots of Dried Fruits and a general Christmas atmosphere on the Nose. The Palate and Finish get more Spicy this way. I like it both ways!

Rating: 88

Nose: 22 - Taste: 22 - Finish: 22 - Overall: 22

Drinking Experience Neat: Good. Quite consistent from Nose to Finish

Conclusion:

The Longrow peated Single Malt is produced at the Springbank Distillery. In 1973, Springbank started a project that would try to produce a peated Islay type of whisky on the Scottish mainland. The name of the project was Longrow, named after the old Longrow distillery that was located close to Springbank. In 1990 the first peated Longrow appeared on the market. The Longrow Malts are dried for 48 hours over peat smoke. Longrow represents only about 10% of the total Springbank production. In 2020 Springbank only produced 120.000 litres in total due to Covid.

There's mainstream Malt and there's Longrow. Or Ledaig just to name another Dirty Diana. I can imagine that many beginning Whisky fans will have difficulties in liking this type of old school dirty malt full of Dunnage, Leather and Sulphur. It's for sure an acquainted taste. But once you like it, you might get hooked. Not your everyday Whisky to be sure but certainly a dirty joy once in a while.   

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                     February 11, 2021

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, that sounds great - I am a fan of the other "dirty diana" and of Longrow, sometimes I like it dirty, as this also means character!

Best
Björn

Jan van den Ende said...

Hi Bjorn, it's a really nice and dirty Longrow. Like you say, it's got character. Something that's missing in most of today's mainstream malts. Have a Great Weekend!
Cheers,
Jan