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REVIEW: Springbank 18-year

1 Sep
Distillery: Springbank

Bottling: Distillery
Age Statement: 18-year
Brand type: N/A
ABV: 46%
Price: $150-170
Where Scotchfinder found it: MacArthur Beverages

Springbank 18-year

Review
I am not going to lie. Springbank makes me feel guilty. Maybe it is the price of each bottle, no matter the age statement. Nah, it is the price. Springbank is a pricy malt. I can never quite reconcile the price with the quality and justify each dram.

Nose: 24
Call me a sucker for sugar, but this one is syrupy sweet all the way and I haven’t even taken a sip. I can almost see the sugar like heat off summer licorice-coated blacktop. You can smell the age of the wood seeping out of your glass as well reminding one of a dried fruit of some sort. No doubt the mustiness from the older casks are creeping around and just taunting you to drink.

Body: 22
Thick and yummy. Sits on the back of your tongue before…

Taste: 21
…it bites the sides of your tongue! Not sure what that was, but the alcohol hit a little sharp here. You can really taste the barley and oak on this one. Sweet as expected, but a with a bite I was not expecting.

Finish: 23
Faint licorice bounces around with a faint shoe-polish(?) before disappearing way too soon. I cannot express that enough. I really wanted this to hang around and it just kind of faded. Is this my price consciousness prodding me with regret? Nah.

Scotchfinder Total: 90

Ruh Roh! It’s Longrow C.V.

2 Apr
Hey ooooh, everyone!

So my birthday is right around the corner and what’s that?? *RING RING* Huh? It’s that a phone ringing? *RING RING*

Nope. An e-mail. My mother would like to buy me a birthday present! A “present” you say? But whatever could my mother get a guy like me? I’m soooo hard to shop forl! A few phone calls and a credit card number later…

A new member of my scotch-stash arrives! Kudos to my mother!

Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?That’s right, it is the only bottle that is actually labeled by name in the picture above: Longrow C.V.

Never heard of it? That’s a shame because it is quite affordable and super unique! It should first be noted that it is a Highland. Well, technically it is from Campbeltown, Scotland where the “highland” description does not sit well with me and probably not to the locals either. The Springbank distillery has created this diamond in the peat, that’s for sure. Yeah yeah, old man puns are lame, but you have to admit, that one was cute.

Here’s a more appropriate press-style picture of the bottle.

Longrow C.V. Bottle and BoxOkay, so the packaging is not that stellar. You may have just glazed over a similar looking bottle of some whiskey that your great great great grandpa bought at the General Store by the Ole Mine (these people may even sell it under the counter). Regardless, this whisky is unique. I promise.

NOSE: When you pop the bottle, the first and foremost thing you smell is peat. Lots of it. Right up your nose and right on the peat-spot! Commence drooling. The next thing you’ll get a tingle of is generous smoke with a follow up of something sugary sweet. Molasses, maybe? Or is that butterscotch? If you have had a Springbank before, then you know the sweet-peat smell. Add a whopping of additional peat with some smoke and then you know exactly what this smells like. You can nose on this glass for a good hour before you completely may cave in to the rest of the drink.

BODY: Pretty middle of the road. I’m not going to go on about how this one felt oily, but for a non-cask strength dram, this little buddy has got some big power on its way after the swallow.

PALATE: I get an earthy tingle and slight singe from fire in this one. I know that feeling, though the taste is quite different… the Ardbeg grit on the sides of my tongue (stops short of invading my nasal passages) and the roof of my mouth. Though the grit and tobacco smoke goes away rather quickly, what’s left….

FINISH: ….can only be described as delicious. A nice taste of peat and smokey sweets linger delightfully for quite some time.

Overall, if I had to rate this on the 100 scale, I would easily score it 92 on my Scotchfinder scale. I wanted more finish! Don’t get me wrong, Longrow C.V. has a ton to offer and for under $60, this bottle is a stellar find. Locally, the best price I found it was at $52.99 at Bassin’s Wine and Spirits on MacArthur Blvd in D.C. If you call, just ask for Tim–their scotch guy. Tell him Scotchfinder sent you. And when he asks, “Who the hell is Scotchfinder,” you can respond with “you better aks somebody!” and quickly hang up.

You may want to wait at least 30 minutes and call back. Have him put a bottle aside for you. You won’t be sorry.

My Current Stock 7/29/2009 & The Rusty Nail

29 Jul

You can never have too many single-malts in your bar (says the person who writes for a blog called “Scotch Finder)!” Here is a picture of my current stash:

Ardbeg – 10-year
Ardbeg – Uigeadail
Balvenie – Single Barrel – 15-year
Bowmore – Legend
Caol Ila – 18-year
Dalwhinnie – 15-year
Glenkinchie – 12-year
Glenmorangie – Extra Rare – 18-year
Highland Park – 18-year
Isle of Jura – Superstition
Lagavulin – 16-year
Springbank – 15-year
Talisker – 10-year

Yum! Yum! Yum!

I have a few blended scotches (not pictured) that I keep on hand for mixed drinks right beside my trusty bottle of Drambuie. My favorite scotch mixed drink is a Rusty Nail:

1 1/2 oz Scotch
3/4 oz Drambuie
Garnish with citrus wedge or twist

The flavor is extremely sweet and tastes quite similar to a scotch/Yeager/triple sec mix. Make sure you put it on lots of ice.

Rusty Nails are a very classic drink and not for the faint of heart–you will notice by the recipe that the drink is basically straight liquor. More than once I have been accused of drinking an “old man” drink when I make it. I recommend using a low-end blend (Dewars or Black/Red Johnnie Walker) and not damaging the integrity of a fine single-malt. I compare putting a fine single-malt in a cocktail like putting rare tequila into a margarita…

…what’s the point?