Consistently one of my favorite whiskies going – and certainly one of the best 18s out there (especially in light of the tragic fall of Highland Park 18) – it’s always a treat to revisit Longrow 18. I think I’ve shared notes on two previous versions of this classic from Cambeltown.
The heel of this austere and elegant single malt from the Springbank family was shared my way by a good mate of mine, Danny (last name withheld for legal reasons…he’s wanted in most states and provinces). He and I went back and forth a couple of times trying to figure out whether this 18 is the 2014 or 2015 version and haven’t really reached a conclusion. It was bought in 2016 in a place that flips inventory fairly regularly, so let’s assume it’s a 2015. Either way…newish.
Ultimately, as if often the case with good whisky, there’s less to talk about here than with bad whisky. Suffice it to say that this batch has been held to the same uniformly high standards as all previous editions I’ve tried so far. It’s refreshing to see a distillery keeping their standards high and endears me even more to one of the best in the biz.
I wish prices were lower, but hey…Springbank has always had a fairly high price point (the nature of doing it all yourself and in a craft style with lots of employees). At least they’re delivering the goods, but it’s hard to talk about value for money here, when discussing sub-twenty year old single malts at nearly $200. Such is. This would seem to be the new norm. Anyway…the quality is high enough here that I don’t cringe nearly as bad at the price tag as I should. (Having said that, no…I didn’t buy this.)
Thanks again for the chance to try this one, Danny. You’re the man, cool guy.
Nose: Soft white fruits. Chewy candy notes. A faint hint of latex (older barrels in here somewhere?). Red jujubes. Apple pie with light cinnamon notes. Pear. Melon. Suede. Gentle peat. Noses older than 18. Love it.
Palate: Very tangy. Some orange and leather. The peat has a great ebb and longer to it. Soft spices. White baked dessert notes. White fudge. Beautiful mix of fruit and peat.
Thoughts: Lovely old school style. Expensive (at about $200 a bottle), but rather exceptional.
– Images & Words: Curt