Whisky Odyssey
Old-fashioned with a twist of the modern 

Anticipating a new Longrow Red release with an oldie

If my information is correct, later this month will see the arrival of some new expressions by Springbank Distillery, including a new Longrow Red. When I was preparing this blog, I read quite some openly aired doubts about the peated, double-distilled output from Springbank on WhiskyFun last week. I can’t truly say I disagreed with the sentiment; Longrow does seem to have lost some of its magic. I did not drink 1973-1974 and 1987s on a regular basis back in the day, but I was rather fond of the incredible 10 year olds of some 20 years ago. Especially the red boxed 100 proof editions, which were just sheer power. There were also some outlandish releases on weird wine casks, that I seemed to enjoy too. I found a sample of one in my drawer so here goes. Since I asked my local retailer to set aside the new Longrow Red (to try it again), I better get in the mood.

Longrow 2000, Gaja Barolo matured, bottled at 55,8 % abv

Makeup: A release of 12120 bottles. This Longrow distilled in October 2000 has matured for 5,5 years in refill bourbon casks and was then finished for 1,5 years in fresh Gaja Barolo Italian wine casks. Bottled January 2008, making it a 7 years old.

General impressions: This seems to be a golden combination. Contained smoke, caged by different kinds of dried fruit, mostly apricot. A very clean and bright nose, no weird off notes. Beautiful. The peated influence is incredibly fierce and leaves a bitter stamp on the tongue. Here is where we feel the wine influence, but it is complimentary to the Longrow character. Still, I felt the need to add a few drops of water. The whisky turns cloudy, and the apricots appear on the palate now. A delightfully weird combination of smoke and fruit.

Conclusion: A good experiment so compliments for that, but I feel it is a bit unbalanced. As it stands, the wine influence is modest and, therefore, an asset.

Score: 86 points

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