While I was really planning a curfew on whisky reviews this week in preparations for Feis Ile 2018, today my social media feed is full of pictures of friends celebrating the Campbeltown Malts Festival, so damn this self-inflicted reviews break – I’m gonna break the break 😀
And what’s more befitting than a Springbank whisky review to celebrate Campbeltown Malts Festival? Let’s review this Longrow 2007 9 Year Old matured in Fresh Sauternes Hogsheads for Springbank Society. It was distilled 11/2007 and bottled 10/2017 (so one month short of being a 10 Year Old whisky). 1134 bottles were produced at 56.3%.
Longrow 2007 9 Year Old Sauternes for Springbank Society (56.3%)
Nose: Sweet white wine, then gentle peat smoke, a touch of greenery, dry champagne, pears, green grapes peels, green mango, honey, toffee, refreshing. After a while, peaches, fudge, rich and heavy. Continue reading
Today we’re going to check out the sixth incarnation in the Longrow Red series – Longrow Red Cabernet Franc.
The Cabernet Franc casks are from De Toren in Stellenbosch, South Africa, same place where the Malbec casks used for last years Longrow Red were taken. The whisky was matured for 9 years in bourbon casks and then additional 2 in the Cabernet Franc casks.
Longrow Red 11 Year Old Cabernet Franc Finish (55.9%, €89,95)
This is the sad story of how I once went to lunch without my phone and when I got back to the office I found out this Springbank 20 Year Old which I coveted for over a week since I heard on it was suddenly released and got sold – all during lunch. Allow me to add that since then I don’t go out to eat without the phone. 😀
And the whisky itself? A sherried Springbank in a fantastic price. The whisky was distilled 14.03.1997, filled into Sherry Hogshead #108 and bottled 5.09.2017 after 20 years. The cask yielded 268 bottles that were sold out in a matter of 10 minute.
Springbank 1997 20 Year Old (Whiskybroker) (48.9%, £135)
Nose: Silky, dried fruit, Kirsch and cherries, soft earth dirtyness, peat smoke, oily, vines greenery, brown sugar, citrus peels. After a while getting a bit floral with dark chocolate. Such a smooth texture! Continue reading
It’s about time I’ll review the third (and latest) Springbank Local Barley release, the 10 Year Old distilled from Belgravia barley, following the 16 Year Old Prisma Barley and 11 Year Old Bere Barley releases of previous 2 years.
This time it’s a 10 year old, the youngster in the series so far, distilled in June 2007 and bottled November 2017. Also of notice is that this time, there are 30% sherry casks in the mix (70% Bourbon) unlike the first two releases who were matured exclusively in Bourbon casks.
As in the previous Local Barley releases, 9000 bottles were released globally and most of them were snagged away within minutes of release in the local markets and what’s still available out there is usually priced way above RRP.
Springbank 10 Year Old Local Barley (57.3%, €124,95)
Nose: Sweet red fruit with red apples, a touch of strawberry and even mountain ash (rowan). Then there’s the familiar Campbeltown funk, peat smoke, greenery (but sweet), not much oils and fumes this time (I think the sherry casks tamed some of it), spicy honey, sour berries. With more time there’s less sourness and funk and instead there’s a s sweeter red fruitiness and machines oil. Overall soft and great nose. Continue reading
Last night at the BTC 2017 competition we had Springbank 14 Year Old Bourbon Wood that was bottled last August and it was quite an infuriating experience. I tasted it, took notes, filled in my guess and continued to drink a few more drams with a friend and one of those drams was also this Springbank 14 Bourbon. So I had the same whisky twice in a single night, just a few drams apart but oh what different notes did I take for each of them. Luckily I got points for age and ABV (12yo and 55%) but if I’d had any resemblence between the notes, I could get more points. Bah!
Here are the notes I had for the blind dram:
Nose: A bit floral and green, salty, honey, white pepper, hard candies and pears, dusty, malt and cereals.
Palate: salt, greenery, honey, white pepper and gentle oak spices.
Finish: medium-long length, gentle fruit sweetness, pepper heat.
Would you guess a Springbank whisky based on those notes? Well, I didn’t. And here are the notes I had for the bottle I tasted later:
Springbank 14 Year Old Bourbon Wood (55.8%, €94,99)
Nose: Restrained, tons of sweet honey and the Springbank funk is there right behind the sweetness with dirt, oils, green vines and exhaust fumes. Very dominant cask influence. Continue reading
Today’s review is the entry level from Springbank distillery, the 10 year old offering that sometimes sneak below the radar as the 12 Year Old Cask Strength batches catch most of the lime lights.
The review was conducted on a bottle that was bottled in September 2016 (with the older label design), although I think the profile didn’t change much with the newer 2017 batches. And in order to make it interesting, I’ll review the 10 year old from 10 years ago (10 and 10, got it?) to see how did it change over the years.
Springbank 10 Year Old (46%, Bottled Sep 2016, £39.90/€37.95)
Nose: Starts with a sweet buffet with honey, vanilla and cereals. Then some Campbeltown magic enters the stage with a very soft funk. Mix of greenery, petrol, hay and pastry, becoming very oily. With time: fruitier, orchard, red fruit and berries and nuttiness, nutmeg and cinnamon. Continue reading
The Longrow Red 13 Malbec is the fifth entry The Longrow Red series and is the third Campbeltown whisky review I post in the last 10 days, I’d say they were busy there in the last few months, ah?
This year edition was delayed and so we earned another year on the age statement going up from 12 to 13 this year (Noticed the creeping up trend? We’ve started with 11 years old statement for the first three releases). It was aged for 12 years in bourbon barrels and then finished for another 15 months in Malbec casks. I loved the last edition (the Pinot Noir cask) very much so was looking forward trying this very eagerly.
Longrow Red 13 Year Old Malbec Cask Matured (51.3%, £62.50/€89,90)
Nose: Soft peat smoke, lots of red fruit, sour berries and unripe plums, winey, Honey, chimney smoke on the beach, Velvety but has a dry side due to the wine tannins. After a while it’s even more fruity with strawberries and with back-end smoked meat. Continue reading