This Longrow 20 year old is the most recent release from the Springbank Society. And even though I’ve been a member of the Society for 2.5 years (I think?), I noticed I hadn’t reviewed a bottle of them since. The previous one was this Hazelburn, and before that, this Longrow, but that was about it. So there isn’t a whole lot of the Society to be found here at Whiskylifestyle—time to change that.
The Society bottlings are currently the only bottles I still order in the UK. The whole hassle with the Brexit rules doesn’t sit well with me, and I think many Europeans would agree. Since the UK left the EU, things have changed about shipping: VAT is charged later, which isn’t a big deal, but the extra costs for import duties can be pretty high.
You usually only pay import duties for amounts above €150, but alcohol is an exception. Besides the import duties, you also pay an amount to DHL (in this case), which dares to charge a mere 2% administration fee, with a minimum of €14.50 (excluding VAT). Add to that the price of whisky has risen anyway, and you can imagine that it has become an expensive affair these days.
Yep, it hasn’t been as much fun anymore. Reason enough for me to avoid ordering whisky from UK-based stores, but I still like to make an exception with the Springbank Society bottles. I know I’m paying too much, but for me, it’s just too good to let it go. I love the distillery very dearly, so curiosity wins over the wallet. That’s why I still sign up for the ballot once or twice a year, and I happened to be lucky this time. So let’s see what this Longrow 20 year old has in store. It better be good! 😉
This Longrow has matured in 6 refill bourbon barrels before being bottled at a strength of 47.9% ABV.
Longrow 20 year old tasting notes:
Nose: a nice layer of vegetal peat, which is followed by fresh lemon juice and vanilla custard. Red apples and unripe pears. Then minerals and a note of hay in the very back. Later also marzipan and a hint of mint.
Taste: a rather creamy mouthfeel and there is less peat than the nose suggests. It’s super fruity, with notes of pears, Galia melon, and kiwi. A hint of lemon juice and there is some vanilla custard as well.
Finish: long with a subtle note of black pepper. Lemon juice and vanilla custard again.
This one lands pretty softly. The peat is quite present in the nose, but it becomes much more fruity on the palate, which drives the peat to the background. And this layer of peat has almost disappeared in the finish even. Not a whisky to drink fast as you will miss a lot of those lovely flavours. Sit down, take your time, and you will discover what this Longrow has in store. A beautiful dram!