Whisky Review: Longrow Red Pinot Noir Cask Matured Aged 11 Years

Style: Sweet and Smoky

Nose:
Begins with oatmeal taking a good amount of smoke. Barley sugar, raisinets and fresh apricots enveloped in sharp, green spice, a bit tight here. Cornflakes, together with minimal tar sink and form the foundation. Whereas shisha, grape skins and sweet bubblegum building up the top aroma. Subtle “dirty” notes gradually unfurl overtime, farm-y notes, diesel oil and brine sprinkled with black pepper.

Palate:
Glistening red grapes showing great clarity at the front. Red fruits sitting on the acidic spectrum, plums, hawthorns, raspberries and cherries. Liquorice roots, tame peat smoke in the form of a gently humming Diesel engine. White fruits and peppermint leaves gradually open up, whereas crunchy cornflakes sit at the bottom. Pomegranate liqueur pouring on milk chocolate. Red fruits and smoke echoing back and forth beautifully.

Finish:
Crystallised red fruits continue to echo at the finish. Minimum smoke and aplenty of sweet red grapes, very nice.

Thoughts:
Longrow red has always been a bit controversial and I think this is my first review on the series. Personally I don’t have a problem with the combination of Longrow spirit and red wine casks at all, but a few of them didn’t worked out that well. For this one, I find the nose a bit tight but the rest is very enjoyable. The balance (or proportion, to be more accurate) between the red fruits and smoke hits the sweet spot whereas the “dirtiness” has integrated into the profile nicely and keeps things interesting. A very good sipper.

☆ [Recommended]

[53.1% | Original Bottling | 9000 Bottles | Cask Strength | 2019 Bottled| 8 years matured in Bourbon casks and 3 years finished in Refill Pinot Noir casks | *]

-Esmond

Dram Review: Samaroli Longrow Natural Strength Sherry Wood 1974

[56.0%・Distilled in 1974・Bottled in 1987・Samaroli Bottling・Limited Release of 408 Bottles]

Nose:

A charming combination of a lucid sugary delivery infused delicately with fresh cropped grass orientated peat. The Sherry influence is restrained, presenting itself in the form of stewed apples with a fascinating edge of soft cheese, served upon a fine layer of buttero leather.

Palate & Finish:

Sensational swirl of dried dates, caramel and blackcurrant sauce conveying the cask’s brilliant Sherry elements, some citrus notes as well with a most pleasing peat eases on followed by those tender leathery notes.

A long and emotional finish, velvet like peat dressed with vanilla and Christmas fruits, sprinkled with a pinch of sea salt to close.

Thoughts:

Such a complex and lovely dram even by vintage Longrow’s standards, navigating through all these colourful nuances and conveying them coherently.

Such class, a dram that begs you to look further.. and look further still..

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

 

Whisky Review: The Whisky Agency 10 Years Anniversary Springbank (Peated Type) 1996

Style: Smoky, Fruity and Vibrant

Nose:

Bright start with fresh green kiwis and smoky guava, an unusual combination but it is fantastic. Under the green fruits lie an alluring layer of malt syrup and stewed tropical fruits, earthy spice raising the ceiling while fruit punch adding a beautiful depth to the aroma. Subtle meaty notes reside at the core.

Palate:

Fresh, smoky green fruits levitate and give way to sweet, stewed tropical fruits to settle in, papaya, malt syrup and agar agar blossoming beautifully. It feels the maturation balance has hit the sweet spot. Peach infused with sponge cake and mineralic peat. Chili spice giving optimal heat, transition to Riesling, white grapes skin with slight tannins as the oak sits in, 90% dark cacao finish.

Finish:

The peat rises and subsides, reminiscence of ice sugar malt, pineapple slices and pears. All soft and sweet.

Thoughts:

When the label says “peated type” I think that translates to Longrow. I don’t have much experience with well-matured, single cask Longrow because they are as rare as hen’s teeth. Personally, I find the heavily peated variation somehow changes the dynamic of the distillery profile – there are certain similarities with Springbank but it feels the smoke takes up a more important role and brings out the freshness of spirit, injecting more vibrancy while keeping a dazzling level of complexity. Great drop.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

[50.9% | Independent Bottling | Single Cask | Cask Strength | Non Coloured | Non Chill Filtered | 1996 Distilled | 2018 Bottled | Aged 21 Years | Matured in a Hogshead – Peated Type | **]

-Esmond