Continuing to complete our Langatun sticker collection with Old Crow – the distillery’s first peated edition (Old Bear uses birch wood smoke), matured in ex-red wine casks. Bottled at 46% you’ll find this available at The Whisky Exchange for £70.95 – which, it’s worth noting is a substantive increase over the price you’ll find this should you live in mainland Europe.
Nose: Cold hearths and gas fire briquettes together with leather satchels and cow hide. Damp tobacco leaves and acrid smoke join hot house vines and musty hedgerow berries whilst air-dried meats sit with an underlying vein of salinity. Dilution reveals ozone and duck pond murkiness together with lighter asides of pressed flowers and spent espresso beans.
Taste: Cardboardy with ancient parchment paper. Musty with a big influence of cigar wrappers and humidors. Milk chocolate and dark chocolate are both expressed together with an earthy maltiness at the core. Bonfire smoke and smouldering cigars sit alongside fig rolls and sweeter redcurrants. Water provides bitterness and tartness from orange and quince and transposes the smoke into a more synthetic composition – burnt electrical boards.
Finish: Medium with smoked malt and sweet berry asides.
Whilst not presenting any overt flaws, the configuration of Langatun’s Old Crow is not wholly harmonised between the wine casks and peat smoke influence. There’s some fighting for attention here, and some oddly artificial notes (particularly when diluted) which don’t sit naturally within the overall composition. A strange one that’s hard to recommend.
Review sample provided by Highfern