In Scotland there is a list of 11 different pubs to go for whisky. And while they are hardly the only places to go for a good selection of whisky, they are the ones that you are turned towards by Whisky Scotland.
For the next couple reviews, I’ll be talking about the ones I had at the Albanach, in the Above Restaurant. Decent enough food with a great fish and chips (so fresh), I decided to try some things off the beaten path from what I’ve been having.
Up first was the Longrow 18 year old. I haven’t had many chances to try out Cambelton’s, which is too bad as I do enjoy the flavour profile of fruit and smoke and sea salt. Also there was a general “we need more Cambelton’s reviewed” in one of the review request threads.
Longrow itself is a double distilled and heavily peated malt. It was originally a mad scientist type experiment to prove you could make an Islay style malt on the mainland. It turned out so nicely that
we all forgot about Terroir and started judging drams by their characters rather than regionthat it was just given a separate name and sold as a new whisky.
Let’s see what the mainland can do with peat.
Price: N/A in Ontario (Sensing a pattern yet?)
Colour: Light caramel
Nose: Caramel, wet grass, cotton candy, ginger, peat, brown sugar, currents
Not as much peat as I was expecting from something labeled “heavily peated”, though that’s probably due the age and the alcohol content being somewhat low. It shows up after a bit, though the sweet and grass like tons take the forefront.
Where’s the Dr. Jekyl experiment?
Taste: Currents, anise, strawberry, little peat, pepper, tannic, peach, blueberry
More and more fruit, with very little peat compared to the Islay I am used to. That being said, in comparison to other Cambeltons and Highlands and Speysides I’ve had, this is peaty, and I am enjoying it paired with the nice fruit..
Finish: Black licorice, smoke, blackberry, bit of earth, peach, lemon rind (faint), cream, peat
Here we go, now we’re getting the peatiness. Again, for myself who prefers Ardbeg, it seems somewhat light, yet the amount of smoke would be a great way to bring someone into tasting peat for the first time.
Conclusion: I’m a bit torn on this one. The hype made me think it would be some kind of insane Ardbeg with fruit thing, yet the amount of peat is more controlled. There’s a lot of fruit and sweet elements throughout as well as smoke. Even though I enjoyed this one, I have to dock it marks for not being that complex. The fruit and the peat, over and over, with some spices are not enough for an 18 year whisky. I personally blame the low Abv. on it, and feel they should have let it be a wee bit higher to really bring this experiment to bare.
Scotch review #80, Campbelton review #3, Whisky Network review #105