I’d say it lives up to the hype. The port is integrated beautifully, with loads of Longrow character shining through. The peat is rich but not really intense or ashy, and has plenty of nice coastal and industrial notes. That herbal character that I sometimes haven’t really got along with in Longrow is here serving to amplify all the tropical fruit. That’s the cherry on top I think: those gorgeous mango and rich fruit notes.
This is a must-try for Springbank fans, and the best peated-port whisky I’ve yet reviewed.
Nose: Spiced fruit and rich smoke. Loads of fruit: Pear, orange, maraschino cherries, strawberries, raspberries, coconut, dates, and gobs of pineapple and mango. Mango for days. There’s that wood-fired oven note again. There’s some of that green flavor, too: eucalyptus, dandelions, and juniper. Musty barley notes, but with a sweet edge. Frosted scones and buttery croissants. The smoke sits way in the back at first, but came forward with time. There’s toasted sesame oil, peanuts, nori, beach rocks, and a good dose of industrial funk. Pickled ginger.
Palate: Thick oily texture. Syrupy fruit at first. Red grapes, then red wine, ginger, dates, flowers, bacon, and sea salt. Loads of dried tropical fruit in the middle, balanced with plenty of savoury spice. Earthy barley, Szechuan pepper, brown sugar, poblano peppers, then dark chocolate. Toasted walnuts, nori, tobacco, black pepper, and grimy industrial peat smoke. Savoury spice notes of turmeric and cumin, with some sour earthy notes. Slightly lactic too, maybe. Those green notes come in at the back of the palate: camphor and eucalyptus, with more ginger.
Finish: Long and rich. Coastal, layered, savoury-sour peat smoke. Banana, mango, pineapple, nectarine, maraschino cherries, and orange. Cinnamon-baked apples. Raspberry yogurt. Earthy and dank barley. Red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting. Slightly waxy. Fragrant black pepper. Honey and a trace of vanilla. Distant smoked fish and bacon. Toasted peanuts.