Distillery/Brand: Longrow | Region: Campbeltown | ABV: 51.7% | Color: Full Gold
Nose: 23 | Taste: 23 | Finish: 24 | Balance: 23 | Rating: 93
There is something strangely fascinating about this bottle. I love the packaging with it’s bronze plaque-ish label on the front and it’s embossed lettering. It’s quite grand.
I picked this one off the shelf along with the CV of the same name to do a little head to head comparison. The CV, now discontinued, had gained quite a reputation along the way and so I was eager to see how this one would stack up against it’s brother.
The Rundlets & Kilderkins (R&K from now on) is a type of very small barrel which can be anywhere from 60 to 80 liters big. Or small, if you like. The idea is that smaller the cask the greater the interaction between spirit and wood and, hence, greater it’s influence.
These casks don’t come ready made and instead get re-proportioned from larger barrels. A Rundlet is basically one seventh of a butt making it one of the smallest cask unit holding around 74 liters and essentially used to mature wine. A Kilderkin, Dutch for small cask, was traditionally used to store beer and can hold around 80 odd liters. Think of it as a quarter-cask if you will, only a bit smaller.
This single malt is 11 years old, distilled in November 2001 and bottled in Januray 2013 and has an alcohol strength of 51.7%
Nose: Whoa! Big! Salty. Briny. Toffee. Chocolate. Coffee. Pine needles. Hay. Heather. Meaty. Boiled sausage. White salt. Black salt. Fortified wine. Soot. A different kind of peat. Ash. Dry leaves. Red licorice. Toffee apples. Medicinal. I love this nose. It’s brilliantly complex. Just layer upon layer of beautiful aromas.
Palate: Grape. Sweet wine. Chocolate. Spice. Cinnamon. Black pepper. Nutmeg. Brown bread. Roasted coffee beans. Rich earth. Butter on toast. It has a lovely crisp charring amid the coffee and the grapes.
Finish: Mocha. Mocha. Mocha. Coffee. Oak. Cinnamon. Dry leaves. Hint of smoke. Tar. Bitter chocolate. Drying.
I prefer this to the CV. Both from a packaging and over all experience and complexity point of view. The flavors are on point. The balance between char and sweet is admirable.
Longrows are notorious for breathing well over time which is why I’ve decanted some to have a go at it in six months. This could quite possibly be my favorite Longrow.