I’ve been a member for the Springbank Society for about seven or eight years now, and while I did miss out on some bottles, most of them have found their way to my shelf.
Most of them have also been good whiskies, with a variety of casks being used and maturation ranging from eight years, to fifteen and over. Generally the whiskies aren’t very old, but when you know current prices of older bottlings, that might be a good thing.
When this came out I was a tad skeptical, since I generally don’t care much for wine cask usage. Even though the Longrow Red series have been quite acceptable, a chardonnay cask is something else entirely.
Luckily, I thought of this bottle when looking for something to open during last summer’s Blog Birthday Bash, so it actually gets reviewed at a reasonable time after its release. It’s only been a year or so!
There’s a whiff of sweet smoke with a slight salty edge. Some basalt and/or slate as well, and white grapes. A slightly buttery note is behind this all, which makes it a bit funky. A small acidic note makes this a Longrow with a rather ‘regular’ base but with some weird edges.
The palate is sharp and rough, again with the acidic note. The basalt notes are present, as is the salt. There’s a sugary sweetness with a hint of unripe grapes. Buttery again too, so rather consistent.
The finish is very consistent with the rest of the ‘experience’, but is maybe a little bit more grainy. Quite funky again.
Well, let’s cut through the bullshit. I don’t like this whisky. A shame, since the last couple of Longrows I had from the Society were fairly epic. This one has such a strange combination of flavors that it doesn’t work for me. What also doesn’t help is that the flavors in themselves aren’t very nice either.
Funkyness in itself can be great, but not in combination with either butter of acidity, and both are here in ample supply. Bummer.
Oh, by the way, the generaly reception during the Blog Birthday Bash was timid, at best.
Longrow 2001-2015, 13yo, 7 years in a Bourbon cask, 6 years in a Chardonnay Cask, 56.7%, Springbank Society