Longrow. Wine. Goes together like M&Ms and popcorn. Or like cheap French fries and soft serve ice cream.
You wouldn’t think it does, but it do.
As such, each time I have a chance to try a Longrow that has been considered near a wine, I attempt to drink it or buy it or both. Sometimes both.
Thus when Longrow Red 13 Malbec became available, I split a bottle.
For those of you who haven’t been following the Longrow Red series, and are waiting for it to hit Netflix and binge watch it, let me fill you in.
They take Longrow and put it in a red wine cask. Then they eventually take it out and serve it to you in a limited edition variety. Then you give them money, as is typical in exchange for goods and services. They’ve done this as a finish, as a further maturation, as a full maturation, and at least once on a train and on a plane (Citation Needed).
They’ve used port casks, Pinot Noir Casks, Australian Shiraz casks, Cabernet-Sauvignon casks, and casks that grew near the house of Red Skeleton (Citation Needed).
So this year they finished some ex-Bourbon Longrow whiskies in some ex-Malbec red wine casks. Where did they come from? The South African De Toren Private Cellar in Stellenbosch.
What’s Malbec? It’s a red grape that mostly grows in Argentina, however does well in hot climates and it’s not running from horrible things it did in “The War”, so it’s aloud outside the country. Typically they have black cherry/dark fruits flavours.
Any other flavour notes will have to go through /u/Throzen, as my understanding of wine is limited.
So we have a finish rather than a maturation, and a wine that adds dark fruit flavours. All at cask strength. Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: It’s sold out
Cask Types: 12 years in ex-bourbon casks, 15 months in Malbec red wine casks
Colour: 10YR 7/10
Nose: Black pepper beef, churro, teriyaki, peach funk, blackberry
Initial heat and meatiness on the nose. Any peat has evolved into more of a smokey, beef flavour. Then some cinnamon/butter, some teriyaki, and some fruit. It’s very much leaning on the Longrow profile here.
Not that it’s a bad thing. I’m just looking for the Malbec, and it takes extra water for some of this influence come out.
Taste: Nectarine funk, caramel, ginger beef, burnt sugar, cashew
I see no Malbec here. Rather I taste no Malbec here. It’s a lot of the typical profile.
Again, I’m not angry at that. Blind I’d guess some ex-bourbon casks happened here. However again, we’re missing some of the fruits here. I’m looking for an earth, some molasses, some mocha, or some chocolate. None of that’s showing up here, and I read an entire two websites of Malbec notes!
So tasty, just not really scratching that “wine” itch I was looking for.
Finish: Dark chocolate, more dark chocolate, edamame, brown butter sage, banana bread, pepper
Okay, we’re starting a little late. Lots and lots of dark chocolate. Bitter on the finish. Good amount of butter and sage.
Is it wowing me? No, it’s unbalanced. There’s too much dark chocolate. And yes that’s a thing. Water brings out pepper, and some nuttiness.
Conclusion: I get the feeling that originally this year wasn’t going to have a Longrow Red, and someone brought up the fact that doing that is leaving money on the table. And maybe others didn’t work out? Who knows.
What I do know is I wanted more from this one. Yes, I enjoy cask strength Longrow. However the idea behind this series is that plus wine casks. Red wine casks, given the name. So it’s a soft pass for me. I’m happy I tried it, however I really did want more than some chocolate added to the standard profile.
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