Springbank is one of those distilleries that always raises the interest of maltheads. There’s this fascinating combination between craft distilling and old time traditions, unbroken since the 19th century, together with an almost playfulness with experimentation with different wood finishes and styles.
Of the three Springbank brands – the Sherry and light peat of Springbank, the triple distilled Hazelburn and the peated Longrow – the latter is riding the wave of affinity for peated whisky. Longrow is by no means a peat monster, and isn’t meant as such but makes a nice change from the heavier Islay whiskies.
This expression was part of the Wine and Flavors Springbank tasting I attended.
Longrow 18 (46% ABV, NCF, NC)
Color: Bronze, legs are long and thin.
Nose: Honey, light peat, nutmeg, clove and toasted coconut.
Palate: Peat and burnt matches (hints of sulfur), sweet honey, gentle spices and cherry flavored Hubba-Bubba gum.
Linger: Spicy and sweet, with raisins and sweet peat. The spicy sharpness stays on the roof of the mouth for a while.
Overall this is a good dram, but isn’t exceptional. Its best feature is the linger, which is long and very rewarding, but this is by no means a complex whisky (a little peat, a little sherry…). It delivers what it promises, the nose and palate are very congruent, but nothing really outstanding here.
Having had this expression together with the Springbank 18 (reviewed here), I think it would be safe to ask if 18 is just too old for Springbanks, making the 12-15 year olds the real crackers in Springbank’s portfolio.