Friday, January 11, 2019

Whisky Review: Longrow Peated

Much like Hazelburn, Longrow has had an unstable lineup in recent years. There was a period when it had a full range consisting of the NAS CV, plus aged dated 10, 14, and 18 Year expressions. More recently that has collapsed down to the NAS Peated expression, the annual wine cask Red releases, and the older 18 Year, with nothing holding down the middle of the range. Hopefully this is a temporary state of affairs as the distillery rebuilds stocks, but only time will tell.

This whisky was aged entirely in ex-bourbon casks, then bottled at 46% without coloring or chill filtration.

I purchased this sample from

From Springbank Distillery
Longrow Peated

Nose: minty toothpaste, fresh malt, mellow peat and hay, leathery oak, buttery. After adding a few drops of water it becomes softer and the peat becomes ashier, but the overall profile stays the same.

Taste: lots of bourbon cask sweetness up front, turning bittersweet with mild oak, peat, and some vaguely fruity top notes from the middle back. After dilution the peat gets stronger and moves forward but remains fairly mellow overall, while the sweetness gains a floral edge.

Finish: light balanced peat, oak, and malt sweetness

I first tried this whisky at a tasting event a few years ago, not long after it was first released. That was also not too long after I had tried the CV expression and found it to be one of my favorite Longrows. So I was extremely disappointed to find that the newer Peated version just seemed tepid in comparison. But I chalked that up to it being the first version and hoped that it would improve in subsequent releases.

So I'm very sad to say that it still doesn't do anything for me. This has nothing of the waves of vegetal peat and TCP I found in the CV, leaving a relatively mild whisky with little to distinguish it. There doesn't even seem to be that much peat, belying both its name and the fact that the components are presumably not particularly old.

This is rather unfortunate as the eye-watering price tag of Longrow 18 Year means that this is likely to be the first and possibly only introduction people get to Springbank's heavily peated malt. As is, I'm glad to have a few other Longrows tucked away to keep me company, because this one will not be joining them.

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