Longrow 15, 2006-2022, Fresh Sherry Hogshead, 53.8% – The Cage

So, this might need some explanation for those who’ve never been to Campbeltown.

In Campbeltown there’s Springbank Distillery and at the distillery they have a visitors center. At the visitors center there’s a cage with some bottles in them. This is one of those bottles.

What these bottles boil down to are ‘one-of-a-few’ bottlings from 70cl cask samples that have been drawn from semi-random casks in the warehouses. So, while prices have gone up recently, you can get your hands on some ridiculously rare and awesome Springbank products at prices that make a bit more sense than current market prices for older Springbank.

This one comes from the cage, from ‘rotation 582’ to be specific and was shared by Tom van Engelen, who recently was there.

Now, sherry and Longrow, so sherry and peat, tends to work very well. Even at not ridiculously high ages this combination tends to score insanely high. The same goes for Springbank products in general, so when this entered my glass yesterday, expectations were stellar.

Image from Whiskybase

Smoke and sherry, to the surprise of approximately no one after looking at this whisky’s label and color. They do keep each other in check. Dark dried fruits, with lots of wet oak and soil. Dates, cherries and almonds too.

The palate arrives with gentleness and a minty freshness. There’s some licorice on top of the dried fruits and soil. Quite earthy with a building heat of chili pepper and smoke.

The finish keeps a large chunk of heat and chili pepper. The sherry and smoke come through with heaps of dried fruit and coastal sea weed like smoke. Almond based pound cake.

What an epic dram. This does everything what you expect a whisky like this to do, and it does it very well. It’s awesome that it’s not too hot, and the sherry and peat keep each other in check. Which, in turn, leaves room for fruity and coastal flavors to develop.

I was under the impression that these bottlings were utterly unique, but with this being in Tom’s possession and ‘elitewhisky.nl‘ also selling a bottle (at a stellar mark-up) proves otherwise.



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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