This Longrow was the second in Springbank’s run of ‘Rundlets & Kilderkins’ releases, following on the heels of the Springbank, and preceding the Hazelburn. All, of course, produced at Campbeltown’s Springbank distillery.
Rundlets & Kilderkins, for those of you out there who may have been as ignorant as I was when this came out, are barrel sizes for both wine and beer, respectively. These are smaller type casks used primarily for accelerated maturation, much in the vein of the quarter cask line of thinking, wherein a smaller barrel elicits greater spirit to wood contact.
I had already assumed the whisky would be good…hey, this is Springbank, after all…so I guess the only real surprise for me is that this is not over-oaked, assuming the spirit spent its entire life in said wee barrels. At 11 years old, this is a sassy drink. Well-executed. Sadly limited to a mere 9,000 bottles. Hopefully this will be a recurring release.
Nose: Lots of peat, pepper and smoke. This is an old school and beautifully aggressive nose. Like a charming old pugilist with a busted up nose and cauliflower ears. Love it! Leather and camphor. Synthetic fruits a la chewy candies (not gummy, mind, but more like Ju-Jubes or something). Bird’s custard. A touch of caramelized grilled pineapple. Quite an old fashioned malt with some very farm-like notes.
Palate: Great peaty and smoky arrival. Sweet and thick, and more…creamy, if you believe that?! Slightly tannic. Farmy straw notes again. Sweet artificial fruitiness again. Licorice, but not the black variety most will think of. More like chewing on licorice root. Into some dry grassy notes. Good rollercoaster development. Long finish.
Thoughts: Longrow is a whisky that is almost sublime at 18 years or so, but still manages to shine in its rollicking youth. Case in point in the R&K. Odd age to bottle at, yes, but the whisky don’t lie. Hoping, hoping, hoping for a second edition.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt