We don’t often get a chance to try drams from Campbeltown, though there are a few clear ‘fans’ in the house! For our original Mumbai based tasting group, this was the first peated Springbank whisky under the Longrow brand that we tried together.
We sampled this whisky blind without bias… and here is what we thought…
Longrow Red Cabernet Franc 11 year 55.9%
- Nose – Peat! Medicinal and maritime, Hamam or Lifebuoy soap, carbolic, fish oil and salt
- Palate – Full raging peat fire yet still sweet, well balanced between sweet and peat, most enjoyable… terrific to just roll around the palate and bask in its full flavoured peaty sweetness
- Finish – Gorgeous sweet spice
- Water – While it seems counter intuitive, don’t… it somehow made the whisky a bit funky
Overall we quite enjoyed this one! It provoked a lively debate about the different characters of peat… contrasting this style of peat with seaweed vs ashy campfire, with neither elements found in this whisky.
One member was absolutely insistent that it had to be Campbeltown – that the peat style was distinctively from that region! Obviously he was spot on and with the reveal backed up his pronouncement with a short discourse on the three different Islay peat bogs vs Highland vs…. you get the picture!
What do the folks at Springbank have to say? Alas the exact expression we sampled has been replaced with a pinot noir… however this remains consistent for what they are aiming to achieve with their Longrow Red expressions:
Our Longrow Red, always bottled at cask strength, is released annually in small quantities and every year a different type of red wine cask is used to mature the whisky.
Offering a different sensation from Longrow Peated, this whisky is smooth, elegant and subtly juicy.
What did we try in our special “red” casks evening?
- Balvenie 14 year Caribbean Cask 43%
- Linkwood 16 year (1998) Côte Rôtie 45% (G&MP)
- Longrow Red Cabernet Franc 11 year 55.9% – This post
Other peaty Campbeltown drams
- Kilkerran 8 years Cask Strength 56.2%
- Kilkerran 10 year “Work in Progress Batch #6 46%
- Longrow Peated NAS 46%
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This is still on my wish list to try. Looks really interesting.
Alas not so easy to catch! However it is interesting to see how Springbank is experimenting with their Longrow Red expressions. If you do – would love to know if you managed to try this one or a different red wine cask. 🙂