Longrow 21, 46% – OB for the Springbank Open Day 2016

When this one was announced, I got all giddy on the inside. That was slightly lessened by the price of a bottle, but I still was enthusiastic about it. A 21 year old Longrow. There’s only ever been one Longrow that was older than this one!

It was released at the Springbank Open Day, last May, and I managed to get a sample. Well, two actually, I didn’t put my eggs in one basket since I felt a need to taste this one. At £ 250 I didn’t really feel the need to buy one, though.

That I love Springbank is no secret. I think it’s my favorite distillery in Scotland, maybe in the world, especially if I disregard closed distilleries (Karuizawa, Brora, Port Ellen, Rosebank, you know the drill).

I visited them in 2010, and I feel it’s been far too long already. I am planning a trip to Scotland with friends for 2018, but since that’s not even next year it’s far too long in the future. Luckily, there’s 2017 that’s still full of options for Scotland and awesomeness.

Oh, getting back to this whisky. There’s not much to say about it. There were 230 bottles, which probably means this is a single cask. It was distilled in November 1994, and bottled in May 2016. It comes from a refill bourbon hogshead.

Image from Whiskybase

Image from Whiskybase

It’s very smooth on the nose with lots of warm grain. The typical light salinity of Springbank and even more so in Longrow is present. Some muesli (toasted grains, I guess). A slight smokiness and light hint of vanilla. Some spices, some sawdust, and after a while a hint of black pepper. Warm smoke.

Spicy wood, but very smooth nonetheless. Even a bit creamy. Salt, minerals and slate. Some vanilla and white oak, with barley and toasted cereals in the background.

The finish is much more salty than I expected, with more minerals and slate as well. Quite interesting because of it. Wood, grains and some smoke.

The summary of how I feel about this whisky can be copy pasted from last week’s Tamnavulin.

It’s a very decent dram, rather good, but not exceptional. I don’t think it adds much depth on top the 18 year old (although I’ve not tasted the more recent editions of that). The finish is the most interesting bit with more salt and minerals detectable. The run up to that is fairly standard and should get its quality of the smoothness and ease with which this goes down.

However, if you take the price tag in regard, it’s just too ridiculously expensive. £ 250 when it came out and currently sitting at a comfortable € 479 in the Whiskybase Marketplace is just insane for this kind of whisky.

If I had the choice I’d instantly go for the not-even-€-100 18 year old.


Longrow 21, 11/1994 – 05/2016, 230 bottles, 46%, OB for the Springbank OB. Currently € 479 and up in the secondary market.


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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