Thanks to /u/buddy_dosser via /r/Scotchswap on reddit for the sample.
I’m sure those of you who follow what I write here are quite familiar by now with the fact that I have quite an affinity for both peat and whiskies from Springbank distillery. No surprise then that I go absolutely nuts for Longrow, Springbank’s heavily peated label.
This one was released last year for the Springbank Society, a distillery run fanclub with exclusively released bottlings which are usually amazing and often very interesting. What makes this particular one unique is its maturation. It spent 7 years in bourbon casks and then a further 6 years in chardonnay casks.
I’ve noted in some other posts how wine maturation is becoming quite popular due to the dwindling supply of sherry casks, but very seldom does one see whisky matured in white wine casks. 6 years is a long time too, should be some strong wine notes here, let’s have a taste then.
Aged 13 years. 56.7% ABV. Matured in a Bourbon and then a Chardonnay cask. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength from a single cask.
Nose: Chalk. Leather. Ash. Butterscotch. Wine tannins. Intense horseradish/wasabi type spice. Orange cake. Some medicinal and seaside notes crop up after a while. Some herbal honey.
Palate: Wow, quite different from the nose. Muddy, vegetal peat. Big dry white wine notes here. Dry stone fruits. Candied citrus. Caramel pudding.
Finish: Long. Slightly lemony. Muted but present peat. Warm wine. Hints of horseradish/wasabi. Tobacco.
Would I buy this: Yes
Would I order this in a bar: Yes
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes
This was a superb one. I really liked how the character was so different between the nose and palate. The nose had a lot of the typical Longrow character whereas on the palate the influence from the wine cask maturation took over. The white wine works pretty well here. I’m not sure if it would work so well with every whisky, or even if thos combination is to everyone’s taste, but I enjoyed it immensely.