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Springbank distillery has been something of a regular feature on this site, with their 10, 12 and 15 year old malts already covered. There can be no doubt however, that Springbank are one of the most interesting whisky producers in Scotland today and there regular inclusion is more than justified.
Springbank is independently owned and has made a point of investing in their local community, employing some 70 staff and even rebuilding Glengyle distillery in order that Campbeltown retain its status as a whisky region in its own right. As well as producing the Springbank malt, the distillery also produces two other brands, named after two of Campbeltown’s lost distilleries: Hazelburn and Longrow.
Campbeltown was once known as the whisky capital of the world and housed some 30-odd distilleries despite a population of around 2000. One of those distilleries was Longrow, named after the main thoroughfare through the town. Built in 1824 by John Ross the distillery would gain a neighbour when Springbank was itself constructed 4 years later on the adjoining site. Campbeltown was enjoying a whisky boom at the time and Longrow was in production until 1896 when it closed down. The reasons behind the closure are somewhat lost to the mists of time though it has been speculated that the site’s cramped nature prevented expansion and left it lagging behind many of its competitors.
Most of the distillery is gone now, though an old warehouse remains and has been put to good use as a bottling hall by Springbank. The Longrow name was eventually adopted when the distillers sought to produce a heavily peated alternative to the regular Springbank brand.
Longrow is bottled at 46% abv, natural colour and un-chill filtered and should be available for around £40 a bottle.
Smell: Earthy Peat Smoke with Lemon, Custard and Pastry. Touch of Apples and Berries. Sea Salt and White Pepper.
Taste: Salt, Honey and Pepper, Vanilla, Oak Spice and Smoke.
Thoughts: Springbank produce magnificent whisky and, for the most part, don’t charge a fortune for it. Longrow is an excellent example of that. It’s reasonably priced and probably as good as any peated whisky you could find.
It doesn’t feature the medicinal note you’d find in Islay malts but it still carries plenty of peaty punch. Wonderfully complex with layers of smoky flavour. Excellent whisky.
*If the whisky reviewed in this article has caught your eye, you can buy it from Master of Malt here. Please be aware that as an affiliate I can be paid a small commission on any purchases you make after following links from my page. The whisky is also available from several other excellent retailers.