Longrow & Kilkerran Distillery Exclusives


If you read our blog you’ll know we recently reviewed a living cask release of Hazelburn and Springbank. Today we’re sharing our thoughts on the Longrow and Kilkerran living cask that we were also able to try.

As with the Hazelburn and Springbank, we were fortunate to be able to try these at The Athletic Arms in Edinburgh, and thus the price listed is how much we paid per dram. 

Longrow Distillery Exclusive 58.3%

Longrow Distillery Exclusive

Region: Campbeltown

ABV: 57.3%

Price: £6 per dram

Nose

Opens with BBQ brisket that has spent 24 hours on a smoker, cumin and smoked paprika. This is incredibly savoury, with meaty aromas dominating. There’s wood there too, charred oak and peat smoke. We’re also getting a tiny bit of salt in the background, but overall this is a carnivores dream.

Palate

The savouriness continues, but turns into roast venison with a red berry sauce, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. The palate also has a touch of bitter oak and malt. The finish is incredibly long, with a nice smokey undertone lingering on as well.

Nose (with water)

With water more ash and tar comes to the forefront, muting the meatiness we smelled before. We’re also getting notes of a damp forest floor, curry powder, and something like red wine vinegar.

Palate (with water)

There’s dried fruits, with a background of punchy peat, oily mouthfeel and a touch more alcohol than before. Some of the meatiness Is lost but the long lingering finish remains.

Conclusion

It’s pretty clear that this has a good amount of sherried whisky in the mix, and it’s created a very powerful, savoury dram. It’s probably a “one an evening” sort of whisky, but solid all round whisky.

Score: 8/10

Kilkerran Distillery Exclusive 57.8%

Kilkerran Distillery Exclusive

Region: Cambpeltown

ABV: 57.8%

Price: £6 per dram

Nose

On the nose there’s vanilla ice-cream laced with raw alcohol, and freshly fermented wort. This is a bit like a martini, but with a floral note riding over the top. This feels very young and we doubt the majority of the spirit has spent long in a cask.

Palate

There’s an initial showing of sweet grain, a lot of ethanol that warms the palate followed by a thin mouthfeel and pretty lacklustre finish. There’s some smoke there but it’s quite flat and masked by the alcohol.

Nose (with water)

This is like thrusting your head into a mashtun, raw wort with sweet barley notes. Did any of thus spirit actually see a cask? Maybe this came from a steel vat that sat next to an oak cask (we’re aware the SWA wouldn’t allow this but it is Campbeltown after all.)

Palate (with water)

Now there’s uncooked bread dough, sugar water, and a touch of cucumber. Overall this is very young and raw.

Conclusion

So we’ve no idea what the mix in-this bottle is, but we assume very little of it is more than 3 years. We’d also guess the majority of this came from a refill bourbon cask. Honestly it’s not the worst young whisky we’ve tasted, it’s actually very smooth with some sweetness, but it really needed more time.

Score: 5/10

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  • 10 - Perfection. A whisky that we’ll remember forever.
  • 9 - Amazing. We’d pay through the nose for a bottle.
  • 8 - Great. Pick this up at RRP.
  • 7 - Good. Happy to have a dram or two but wouldn’t buy a bottle.
  • 6 - Passable. Would accept a dram, but wouldn’t seek it out.
  • 5 - Poor. Would drink if it was the only option.
  • 4 - Bad. Maybe it can be saved by ginger beer?
  • 3 - Awful. It can't be saved by ginger beer.
  • 2 - Pour it out
  • 1 - We’ve never tried a whisky rated this low and hopefully never will.

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