Thanks to /u/devoz for the sample.
So Springbank owns Springbank, Longrow, and Hazelburn. In addition, the whole thing is owned by Cadenheads.
To add confusion, they helped supply the capital for Glengyle, one of three Campbeltown distilleries, however have nothing to do with Glen Scotia, the other one.
Following along? Okay.
So Cadenheads sells to everyone and independently bottles from other distilleries around the world. Then Springbank has their own single cask lines. And in addition to that, there’s the Springbank Society, which has it’s own single barrels.
Keeping up? Great.
So when considering making Longrow Red, the distillery manager has some casks that will make the cut, some that will come out as single casks, and some that will come out as single casks for Springbank Society, and some that may end up with Cadenheads.
That’s a big ole logistics river delta is what that is.
Today I’ll be reviewing Longrow 12 1996 Oloroso Single Cask. I’ve spoken at length that I enjoy when Springbank takes their heavily peated offering (Longrow) and puts it in a red wine cask of any sort.
That said, I do have a bias against Oloroso sherry casks. So how will I react to this? Let’s see, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Cask Type: Oloroso sherry butt
Distilled: June 1996
Bottled: March 2009
Outrun: 615 bottles
Colour: 7.5YR 7/10
Nose: Strawberries, collard greens, gingerbread, dark chocolate, plum
Initial nose is screaming Oloroso with the strawberry. Given a little bit of time though, we have the effects of the full maturation. The spice, the evolved peat, and the earth aspects and plum.
Or as we discussed the other night while drinking a bunch of whisky, this Oloroso cask has been given time to really add to the complexity, or mirror what a PX can do in a shorter amount of time.
Taste: Cocoa, anise, gingerbread, pineapple hard candy
The peat has nicely developed into a mixture of spice, cocoa, and lots of gingerbread/molasses. Never goes anywhere from that, sadly.
There’s some tartness/sugar with some water.
Finish: Chocolate covered strawberries, brine, honeydew melon, roast fennel, brown sugar
Subtle finish. Lots of chocolate, tons of sweets that were missing from the taste, and a nice roasted spice. This is what we were looking for this whole time. If the rest of the dram is teasing an idea of this, and then the finish gives it to you.
Conclusion: Like a Vegas act, this dram teases some great ideas, and then gives you all of it in the finale. Some would love that.
I’m feeling like it’s a great finish, an okay taste, and a good nose. I’ve had better Longrows. Some that did a consistent big amazing flavours throughout. Perhaps they pulled this because the finish was amazing and the rest was okay. I loved the chocolate and spice in it. Loved the fruit and spice. If you like those things, you go for it.
Scotch review #785, Campbeltown review #41, Whisky Network review #1288