Much like really good movies and tv shows, a lot of us like to revisit really good drinks. Although, I’m pretty sure the reasons are split between wanting to see if there are more nuances to pick up, or we just go back for the experience we remember.

One of my most favorite shows ever is the Hannibal TV series with Mads Mikkelsen. Which, sadly, only ran for 3 seasons. I am such a fan of the show that I’ve binge watched it completely at least 4 times. I still watch some episodes at a monthly basis. One of the lines in the show that has stuck with me all this time is something Dr. Lecter told Will Graham in the debut episode of the 1st season. Paraphrasing it, Dr. Lecter said Will Graham was being compared to a very fragile fine China tea cup. In essence, thefinest kind of teaware, reserved only for special occasions.

I see the Longrow whisky in my collection as a fine China tea set. But unlike a fine China tea set, which is primarily brought out on special occasions to impress special guests, I only bring it out for myself. With the CV, 10 and 14 being discontinued years ago, it’s safe to say these Longrows are increasingly more difficult to obtain. As such, one of my most favorite single malts in my collection is the Longrow CV. Like all good things, this release did not last too long.

Aside from being delicious and rare, I have more reasons to be more sentimental about this particular bottle. It was, in some ways, what kick started my passion for finding less common spirits when traveling. I bought this years ago at a random store during my first ever trip to Osaka and Japan. I had just learned that this was to be discontinued. So, I instantly grabbed this last bottle along with a bottle of Glenmorangie Ealanta. I think this cost around ¥5000 back in 2014. Just like that, I’ve always made an effort to spend time for bottle hunting when I go abroad, like many of you do as well I’m sure. With my more than average knowledge and preference for trying new things, it has been very rewarding.

Based on what info I can find online, this heavily peated, but not heavily smoky single malt is bottled at 46%. This is a blend of whisky aged 6 to 14 years. An assortment of whisky aged in ex-rum, ex-bourbon, ex-port and ex-sherry casks. For a release called Curriculum Vitae, I was hoping for some ex-brandy influence here.

Various sites online say Longrows are 50 to 55ppm. But I recently learned the ppm given are the numbers after the barley has been peated. Fermentation, distillation and aging can change the ppm. Thanks to Jamaican rum, it has become more known that ester counts increase as the rum ages. Because of the various old peated whisky I’ve tried over the years, I think it’s safe to say ppm goes down, as the whisky ages.

Longrow CV – review

Color: Amber

On the nose: Very gentle scents of lemon peel, peat, bacon, apple pie, cinnamon, baking spices. But very quickly followed by sharp notes of peppers and hints of nori. Some last minute scents of latte, chocolate, dill, sage and sea breeze.

In the mouth: Gentle and expressive lingering peat. Some hints of chocolate and cappuccino followed by a sharp but quick note of nori. Hints of bacon, smoke

Conclusions

A very balanced, yet perplexing whisky. The youth certainly comes out on the nose. They give off a sharp sensation though not as sharp, as more crudely made and lower abv single malts. Despite the apparent youth, this whisky shows complexity on the nose. The more mature whisky in this blend is more apparent in the mouth. The flavors are more gentle and lingering yet less complex.

While I think Ardbeg is accepted to be largely one of the earliest and strongest champions for the now dominant NAS movement, my nomination as the champion is this release. My first taste of the Uige was mid 2015. While I haven’t drank a lot of this Longrow, this blew my mind when I first had it. It was that damn good that it immediately made me more open minded about the NAS movement.

Score: 8/10

CategoriesSingle Malt
John
John

John is a cocktail and spirits enthusiast born and raised in Manila. His interest started with single malts in 2012, before he moved into rum and mezcal in search of malterntaitves – and a passion for travel then helped build his drinks collection.

  1. Avatar
    Welsh Toro says:

    It seems that we sing the same tune my friend. This one’s a NAS, and a good one…BUT…there’s an awful amount of crud under the umbrella of NAS. Springbank aren’t that kind of operation. The current Longrow replacement for this is a fine example. They could put an age statement on it but I don’t care in this case. There’s some young stuff in it but I trust Springbank to sell good stuff. (Note to distillery – please don’t ever ruin our faith in you.) Cheers. WT

    1. John
      John says:

      Hi WT, a huge amen to your note to Springbank.

      It’s also nice to know someone else sings the same tunes as me.
      Springbank has not disappointed so far. But the prices, to be honest, are painful.

      1. Avatar
        Welsh Toro says:

        I’ve grumbled a little to Jason about some of Springbank’s releases, their availability and price. It annoys me beyond belief that my friends in the States and Canada seem to be able to pick up any fancy release off a shelf in a shop whilst they are near to impossible to get in the U.K. Anything over 18 years old is crazy money. Nevertheless, the price of the excellent and available core range has stayed pretty much the same for a number of years. I’m drinking some Hazelburn 10 at the moment and I can’t belive how good a whisky it is and very resonably priced.

  2. Avatar
    bifter says:

    A blast from the past! This was one of my formative experiences with single malt, acquired from Cadenheads Edinburgh shop for circa £30. I was really impressed but unfortunately, as you note, it was discontinued soon afterwards. I seem to recall it resembling Caol Ila in character but those were early days, it would be interesting to see if I still thought that. It certainly opened my eyes to all things Campbeltown.

    Thanks for the memories!

    1. John
      John says:

      Hi Bifter, thanks for the comment.
      €30! Those were the days! Quality whisky at that price point.
      I agree with the Caol Ila comparison. The lemon, bacon and peat notes were the common flavors.

      Cheers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *