Tasting: Longrow Open Day 2018 13 yo Refill Port

Longrow Open Day 2018 13 yo Refill PortDram data:
Distillery: Springbank
Bottler: Official Bottling
Distilled: February 2005
Bottled: 14.05.2018
Age: 13 years
Limitation: 1096 bottles
Casks: Refill Port
Alcohol: 58,7%
uncoloured / unchillfiltered
Whiskybase link

Longrow. The heavily peated spirit produced at the quirky Springbank distillery in “wee toon” Campbeltown. Bottled for their 2018 whisky festival. What could possibly go wrong…?

Tasting notes:
 red gold
The nose has a slight alcoholic punch to it at the beginning – no wonder, looking at the strength. Beneath the alcohol rich, dark goodness awaits. We’ve got dried dates, dried figs, dried plums and a few raisins on top served on a spicy, peat smoked oak platter garnished with allspice, cloves, tangerine peel and ginger. The slightest whiff of sulphur came and went quickly, a bit longer lasting is a whiff of the Campbeltown dunnage warehouse funkiness (some might call it dark chocolate…). Rather lovely start. Let’s move on to the palate! 

Rich and juicy on the arrival, oily and rather gentle initially – it takes a while for the alcohol and the dryness to kick in. Very manageable neat. Quite spicy, the fruits are definitely in the background – you can tell it’s refill European oak, which is refreshing to see. We’ve got bonfire peat smoke, dried plums, cloves, allspice, tangerine peel, dark chocolate, meaty umami flavours and dried mushrooms, all served on a toasted oak platter with a pinch of salt on top. The long finish is quite fresh upon swallowing – you can tell the alcohol, but it’s not burning. Quite dry, with cold peat smoke (from a campfire that’s been put out), cask spices and remnants of dried fruits. European oak notes dominate the later part of the finish.

Verdict: Not an easy whisky, but we don’t expect that from Springbank, do we? The heavily peated spirit and the still rather active refill cask work great in tandem, producing a spicy and nuanced dram that wants to be discovered. I’m sorry to say these days you probably won’t find it for the 60 GBP it sold at the open day…

Score: 86/100
(Nose: 87 Palate: 86 Finish: 85)

Click here to see all the Springbank expressions I’ve tried so far

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