Distillery/Brand: Longrow | Region: Campbeltown | ABV: 56.1% | Color: Young Sauternes
Nose: 23 | Taste: 23 | Finish: 24 | Balance: 23 | Rating: 93
I have a confession to make. Actually a confession made on the back of a revelation.
About a couple of years ago I picked up this Longrow to satisfy my ever increasing curiosity for Campbeltown. To be fair I didn’t know much about it and relied on the salesman to pick something out for me.
A couple of months after purchasing it I had a poker night at my place and one of the guys wanted to have a taste. I duly obliged. He liked it. I wasn’t too impressed.
As it turns out he has much better taste in whisky than I do. Not only did I not think much of it I had the gall to write a review about it and label it average. This was, of course, over two years ago. In my defense I live in Dubai so two years is actually closer to eight in whisky years. You know, because of the temperature. So I think I can be forgiven for being naive.
This 14 year old gem has been matured for 11 years in bourbon barrels (1997-2008) and then for a further three in French Burgundy Casks (2008-2011). It’s peated like all Longrows are and it’s served up at a juicy 56.1%
Nose: Warm dark honey. Natural caramel. Toast. Cranberries. Malt butter. Cherries. Red licorice. Star anise. Cinnamon. Tannins. Mint leaf. Cured meats. And that lovely peat.
Palate: Strong cinnamon. Clove. Dark cocoa. Coffee beans. Actually superbly roasted coffee beans. And spices. Roasted too. Burnt sweet caramel. The delivery is full bodied and the flavors brilliantly balanced.
Finish: What a finish! Long, oily and chewy. Minty with lots of coffee. Cherries. Cinnamon. Warm Coca-Cola.
Thanks to my friend The Whisky Snob who raved about it so much he made me give this another go. Incidentally this score is 6 huge points above the last.
I was either stupid or the oxidization helped. I’m going with stupid.