1994 North Star Springbank (Peated & Double Distilled) 25 Year Old Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)
According to Serge Valentin at whiskyfun.com, this could well be one of the best Longrows of recent times: "Brilliantly medicinal, oily, sooty and with this peculiarly sharp and pointed smokiness", Serge sums it up as a "Tour de Force" (full review below). The total outturn was a measly 130 bottles from a refill bourbon hogshead. A collector's Longrow if ever there was one. We have next to nothing available. 52.1% Alc./Vol. Non chill filtered.
Other reviews... The label says Springbank but I think we can dispense with that little technicality. Colour: pale gold. Nose: this one feels shier at first; more coiled and poised. However, you also get an unequivocal announcement that this is Longrow with these brilliant notes of seawater, petrol, medicines colliding with olive brine and pure antiseptic. Then this rising and totally idiosyncratic tang of Machrihanish peat. Keeps opening up: bandages, wet rocks, ink, dried seaweed, putty, camphor, beach bonfire embers. I’m almost sorry to report that it is totally stunning. With water: gets rather camphory, elegantly drying, notes of waxed canvass, chalk, olive oils and more seawater. Mouth: Pow! A sucker-punch of utterly glorious peat smoke. Soaked in mercurochrome, iodine, lime oils, waxes, white pepper, dried seaweed flakes, natural tar and the most vivid and powerful medicinal profile. Whereas the Springbank was kind of ‘nose-forwards’ this one is quite the inverse. Stupendously mouth-filling, slathering on this petrolic, jellied peat with a trowel! With water: brilliantly medicinal, oily, sooty and with this peculiarly sharp and pointed smokiness. Chiselled coastal aspects, light briny touches and now also some farmyard aspects like oily sheep wool, lanolin, wintergreen and even things like caraway and fennel. The complexity really builds, just brilliant, brilliant old Longrow. Finish: very long! Now really tarry, phenolic, peppery, saline and still with this brilliantly sharp and precise smokiness. Getting beautifully herbal and medical in the aftertaste. Does that peacock tail thing where every wee flavour and impression takes a bow. Comments: indeed, a totally stunning Longrow. What unifies these old Springbank distillates, when they’re at their best, is that they reek of distillery identity. This one just could not be any other distillate on the planet than Longrow. A tour de force!
93 points - Serge Valentin, whiskyfun.com