Right, Longrow. Just “Longrow” – no age statement, but also no silly marketing-driven name to distract from this fact either. Although Longrow is the “heavily-peated, double-distilled” expression from Springbank I’ve tended to find it quite a gentle whisky. It’s peaty, sure, but a fair distance away from the likes of Ardbeg or Lagavulin.
Nose: It’s really quite gorgeous and subtle – at first nosing it’s all citrussy flowers (lime blossom?), lemongrass, and then a delicate smokiness wafts in. Not a peaty smoke though, but maybe more liked smoked almonds. Otherwise there are lots of apples, a fair bit of salinity, and – off in the distance – some heavier peat notes. Every now and then there’s a slightly waxy medicinal touch – crayons on the kids ward – but only a fleeting impression.
Taste: Starts sweet and then goes salty – quite bracing in fact. Loads of citrus, with some little tropical fruit (banana in particular) hints and some puffs of smoke. Again there are some medicinal characteristics at the edges – I’m slightly reminded of the Corsodyl I had to gargle with when I had my wisdom teeth out(!). Slightly!
Finish: Long, salty and with some of that trademark Campbeltown funk and dirt coming through: oily and mineral and more distinctly peaty. Ends on some nice orange and liquorice.
I’m quite impressed with this – a NAS whisky that has a subtle, complex nose and a decently long finish. Being non-chill-filtered and bottled at 46% does, of course, help with that. It’s also fairly-priced, and probably an excellent way for fans of Islay whiskies to start exploring Campbeltown.