Whisky Odyssey
Old-fashioned with a twist of the modern 

Beastly Longrow released from the Cage

The Cage Bottles at the Springbank Distillery have quite the reputation for being very interesting and off the beaten track. I remember my first glance at the cage, which was nothing more than a cabinet with bars in front of them. It was located in what is now the current Cadenhead’s shop on Union Street in Campbeltown. The labels look totally unsexy and this is obviously intentional. This is supposed to be a very rare bottle, and it is all about the whisky. When you are in the company of nerds, one must be quick to score something that might well be of stellar quality. This is how I got my hands on the bottle of today, a 15 years old Longrow dark as cola.

I tasted quite a few others too. Especially memorable was being invited to the home of Campbeltown photographer John McFadyen where I was generously poured two fantastic Hazelburn Cage Bottle expressions. A bourbon matured and a sherry matured. Good memories, lovely people, interesting whisky. Worth sourcing one if you ever make it to Campbeltown.

And oh yes, to conclude, do not buy these bottles for some of the prices I see in the Whiskybase market. They are worth 400 euro, yes, but Springbank chose to make these kind of bottles available for much less than that. I cannot praise the company enough for doing that. Do not reward the flippers. They should be blacklisted.

Longrow 2006, 15 years old, bottled at 53,8 % abv

Makeup: Distilled on 13 October 2006 and bottled on 29 August 2022. Matured in a fresh sherry hogshead, and it shows. Rotation 582.

General impressions: My bottle is now open for more than a year, and it did nothing to diminish the sheer power of this Longrow. It really stands up to the fresh sherry maturation. The smoky character of the distillate goes into a mighty battle with the red fruit influences of this excellent cask. The result is an array of impressions, ranging from blackcurrants and berries to sizzling meat and woodsmoke. The smells from the glass are the main attraction here. Some of the "red" character is certainly transferred to the tastebuds, but here the peat is also dominant. More meaty than fruity on the palate. The finish has a slight metallic touch to it, that prevents this from going interstellar, but all in all, this is one of the more complex Longrow I've tried in a long time.

Conclusion: Absolute cracker from a classic sherry cask, and amazing that Springbank had this in a cage for just 75 pounds.

Score: 91 points

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