The 8/3 ratio works well in this release. I like it quite a bit and usually I'm not big on the "reds." Longrow peat is kind of thick and oily when compared with other peated whiskies. Some peat works better with fructose wood casks than others. Longrow peat isn't the best with port and wine, IMO. It's better with sherry. I think Lagavulin is perhaps the best with sherry but it isn't usually overdone in batches such as the Distillery Exclusives, which have the advantage of 15 years in the wood. Then again, the ABV is about three percent too low in those 43% just doesn't have enough power. 46% is much better.
In fact, I would like to see Springbank experiment with putting a nice rechar oak barrel into their batches of this size to help offset the overpowering sweetness of such fructose-laden cask wood from Oloroso or PX. In this case, the former.
My order of preference with Campbeltown releases is generally as follows: Springbank first, then older Longrows, then good Kilkerrans, then good Glen Scotias, Hazelburns, and finally the young Longrows (which I never buy). Longrow peated is too young for me. I would very much like to taste a 15 year cask strength Kilkerran with a one heavily "Ardbeg Alligator style" rechar cask thrown into the batch for an accent. That would be fabulous. Yes, I know they don't exist, but one can still dream. . . . I would also like to see Springbank experiment with younger and older casks and then divulge the proportion. I know that's illegal in Scotland but I think it's illegal for unethical reasons owing to the fact that the big distilleries don't want the competition or the public to become accustomed to knowing how good a batch of older casks can taste with one younger one (past the banana/tequila stage) thrown to add power to the batch. Say a bunch of 14 years with a 10 year or two. What heaven that would make. I think labeling proportions of old to young in a release would be a great thing and the public would quickly become used to it and prefer it. I use this technique in my personal vattings to great effect and have really wowed my friends with it.
I would one day hope to see a Longrow release around 14-15 years of age that is a mixture of some charred bourbon or sherry barrels and some bourbon barrels. I really miss releases of older cask strength Longrow. It needn't be up around 18. 14-15 yrs is a sweet spot for me. I do always buy the 18. I liked the 2017 very much. I'm getting tired of Springbank and Longrows aged in rum casks. Rum sometimes creates a "thin" acrid sweetness that is cloying.