It’s a strange time in the world as we’re all totally consumed by COVID-19. In a sense I’m lucky that I work freelance and it’s easy for me to do my work from home, because that’s how I always do it. I don’t need to be in physical contact with other people than my partner. I also don’t have children who otherwise would’ve needed extra care, since yesterday it was decided to close all schools and daycares in the Netherlands. I can do my work fairly uninterrupted.
Yet, everything just feels uneasy. It feels strange to go to a supermarket. It surely feels weird to not meet up with friends. Whisky festivals have been cancelled, all Amsterdam Cocktail Week events too. There are a few tastings on the books in the coming weeks, but I can’t imagine those will proceed, and if they do, I just don’t see myself attending. It’s smart to stay holed up, and that’s what I pretty much will do, but goes against (my) human nature.
It’s simply a very uncertain time, both socially and economically, and it doesn’t look like that uncertainty will go away soon. I’ll do my part and will socially distance myself as much as possible, but that’s about where my power ends. My thoughts are with everyone directly affected by COVID-19, the healthcare professionals doing what they can to keep this situation manageable, and all the other people that play a vital role in keeping our society going. It’s clear I’m not one of them. It turns out writing about whisky is pretty trivial.
That’s why it feels weird to just publish whisky reviews and blog posts without addressing all that is going on, so that’s probably what these past few paragraphs are about. Nevertheless, it also makes no sense to just stop doing what I’m doing. After all, I’m at home, thankfully I’m healthy and I’ve got nothing but time (and no other great skills). So let’s awkwardly segue into today’s tasting note.
Longrow was first distilled at Springbank distillery in 1973 and has since made a name for itself as the heavily peated brand from Campbeltown. Although there seems to be some overlap sometimes, as certain Springbank tend to taste more like Longrow, while some Hazelburn could easily disguise as Springbank. Anyway, this is officially labeled as Longrow, an older bottling actually that has since been discontinued. Aged for 10 years in presumably mostly ex-bourbon casks, this was bottled a high strength of 57 percent, or 100 Imperial proof.
Longrow 100 Proof 10 Years (57%, OB, +/- 2006)
Nose: Great stuff. Subtle farmy notes with a touch of breakfast cereal and just a whiff of peat. A bit of brine, sweet porridge and a touch of orange, papaya and lemon peel. Lovely waxy and old school. Taste: Somewhat bolder and peatier with a nice fruity side, mainly pink grapefruit. Waxy notes make an encore, as well as a touch of menthol and a whiff of cardboard. Finish: Lingering menthol and soft peat.
Pretty straightforward but really good at what it does. Lovely signature Springbank distillate that is great even at a fairly young age, and already shows some signs of bottle ageing.