Note by Serge Valentin from whiskyfun.com:
Longrow 1987/1999 (55%, Samaroli, cask #141) Always loved Samaroli’s tasting notes on the back labels. You never quite knew if that was all a little clumsy, or extreme avant-garde Italian poetry. In any case, this one’s ‘reach and pulpy’ and has got ‘lucky heather in flower’. Very artsy, isn’t it! (I know, I know, that’s the pot calling the kettle black)… Colour: straw. Nose: they may have broken the mould, because after 1987, this style was never to be found again. Fantastically limy and almondy at first nosing, then delicately smoky (heather smoke indeed?), then wonderfully medicinal and coastal at the same time. Tiger balm and lemongrass, oysters, and a little soot. Then embrocations, more tiger balm, menthol… I find this nose stunning, just like other 1987s used to be (all Signatory or Samaroli, the De Niro and Pacino of Longrow). With water: burning fir wood, tincture of iodine, mashed turnips, perhaps celeriac, pickled samphire… Oh so very peculiar! Mouth (neat): perfection in its very own genre. Wine vinegar, seawater, bone marrow, sharp lemon juice, smoked oysters, liquorice wood, ashes… Shouldn’t work, and yet it does. Extreme mezcal? With water: becomes a little gentler, but this sharp lemon-and-coal-smoke combination just roars. Finish: long and very salty this time. More seawater. Almondy and lemony aftertaste. Comments: oh why haven’t we bought more of these when they were available? A style that’s nowhere else to be found, the Frank Zappas of malt whisky (older Ledaigs being the good captain, I suppose). SGP:366 - 92 points.