Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Tasting: Longrow 13 yo. Springbank Society edition

Longrow. 13 yrs. Springbank Society edition

Distillery: Springbank
Age: 13 Years
Proof/ABV: 56,7%
Price: 84€
Cask: Bourbon & Chardonnay Hogshead
Distilled: October 2001
Bottled: March 2015
Release: Limited 366 bottles, Springbank Society release

Points: 91,5/100

Today it’s my Campbeltown fun loving malty brother from another mother, and previously guest contributor on our blog; Mr. Matthias Blau’s 30th birthday.

Hitting thirty, I wanted to raise my glass, and congratulate him on his big day, and what better way to do so, than tasting and reviewing a sample that was gifted to me by none other than Matthias.
But first and foremost; Congratulation my friend! I hope you are having one hell of a day. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to taste and review this bottle.

Happy birthday. Cheers.

Longrow is distilled at one of the last surviving distilleries in Campbeltown, the legendary Springbank Distillery. Springbank is the only distillery in Scotland to produce three different Single Malts – Springbank – Hazelburn and Longrow – using three different production methods.

Longrow was first produced in 1973 as an experimental Islay styled whisky. In 1992 it became a regular offering in the Springbank portfolio, distilled one month each year at Springbank distillery. Longrow is double distilled and heavily peated. Some say that Longrow is named after one of the old closed Campbeltown distilleries, others that it’s named after the main street in Campbeltown, so pick the story you like the most.    

Springbank is also the owner of Kilkerran, since Hedley Wright – the chairman of J&A Mitchell and Co. Ltd - the owning company of Springbank Distillery, reopened Mitchell’s Glengyle Distillery, but that’s a different story.

This Longrow is bottled by Springbank Society. The first 7 years it spends it’s time in a fresh bourbon barrel, and then it was transferred to a Chardonnay Hogshead for the remaining 6 years of maturation.

Very refreshing and floral with deep layers of salty seawater and peat. Right beneath the surface, we are being presented with sweet malt, pure oak smoke and a hint of citrus.      

Oh Yeah… that nice oily texture and mouth feel you sometimes are lucky enough to find in some high ABV Cask Strength Whiskies. Dry but not overly dry. The Chardonnay cask steps into the picture now! I wasn’t picking any white wine notes up on the nose, but it reveals itself in the taste. Green grapes, prunes, apricot, salt, peat and light smoke.       

Salt, peat and light smoke follows us in every stage of this whisky, and the amazing long finish is no exception.  

Overall impression:
This Longrow is fantastic company. It’s one of those whiskies that you can spend an entire evening with, trying to break down and apart. It is complex, deep and balanced, and the high ABV profile suits it perfectly.
The Chardonnay hogshead is a great choice and complements the whisky, instead of overpowering it. Why some of the finished whiskies out there, became a reality remains a true mystery to me, because if the cask isn’t chosen carefully, in my opinion, it can ruin an already enjoyable tasting profile in a whisky, due to an overpowering cask.    

Photo By: Matthias Blau
Review By: Hasse Berg