One good Longrow deserves another. Or two more. So I’ve been crazy busy in life. A new career, going to school at the same time, dealing with life, and oh, now, I’m trying to do my part and making sure I don’t spread COVID-19. Oh, and clean your fucking hands and stay home.
Thus I’ve started putting together multiple whiskies. Then, if you read the last review, I screwed up one of the Longrows.
What we have today is the annual release of Longrow Red for last year (because I’m supercurrent) which is the second time they’ve used Pinot Noir Casks. I’m a total hype fan for Longrow Red, so we knew this was coming. I’m pretty sure the sun will explode if I don’t keep trying to review everyone, or at least that’s what the Aztecs told me.
Second is Longrow 17 Single Cask, which is also ex-Bourbon but finished in ex-Chardonnay. And as someone who’s been loving weird-ass white wine cask finishes, I gotta.
So which wine will reign… brine? Fuck off, I don’t know, let’s get to them.
Longrow 11 Red Pinot Noir
Cask Type: 8 years in ex-Bourbon, 3 years in refill Pinot Noir Cask
Number of Bottle: 9,000
Colour: 10YR 6/10
Nose: Varnish, cocoa, raspberry, peanut
Lots of wood on the nose. Quite chemical forward, the peat and red wine take over in case you’re not into redoing your outside deck chairs just yet. Or whatever the rest of the world uses varnish for.
Water brings out some peanuts. Lighter nose than I was expecting.
Taste: Chocolate, smoke, caramel, apple, hazelnut
Ah, more chocolate. I think I know why, as someone with a sweet tooth who loves traditional Southern BBQ I enjoy peat so much.
Sweet, more fruit here, less of the wine influence. Or maybe that’s the hazelnut? Hard to say, really.
Finish: Anise, currant, button mushroom, coffee, dry pear, hazelnut
And here we have more of the wine influence. Earthy, spice, some rich red fruits, and some dry elements. A good amount of coffee flavour.
Perhaps the hazelnut was the wine influence. Reading my old review I noticed some peanuts, however, I’m guessing that’s more brine from the Longrow. Also, I mentioned ass blood a lot. Less of that this time, thank goodness.
Conclusion: Finish makes up for a simpler nose, probably the least fun Red out there, but still solid. I got a very standard “red wine mixed with peat” dram. And don’t get me wrong, that works. There’s a reason they do it, and it’s not because the ancient earth wishes to be burnt into barley and mixed with a nice Bordeaux someday: It works.
Here we had a lighter, simple nose, a sweeter taste, and a finish that played with lighter aspects. I don’t think you’ll be sad about buying this if it’s the only one you can have. I’ll be happier if they shy away from Pinot casks moving forward after this.
Longrow 17 Single Cask
Price: $225 CAD
Cask Types: Bourbon, then finished in Chardonnay Casks
Number of bottles: 360
Colour: 5Y 8/8
Nose: Brownies, oak, BBQ shrimp (come at me bro), lemon
Buttery chocolate, some oak (though perhaps the vanilla in that was from before), a strong brine flavour with some smoke (almost like what happens when you BBQ shrimp), and some simple acidity.
Alright, I’m sold after you said chocolate butter, but I guess I should review the rest, be a completionist and all that.
Taste: Butter, oak, asparagus, lemon sorbet, peanut
More butter, less sweet though still has that oak/vanilla. Strong vegetal/lighter note and that simple lemon has evolved. Probably a good thing, I’m bringing this bottle to my next gym, get my badge with it.
Bit of nuttiness. Hmm, perhaps the number of nutty notes in Longrow in my reviews would mean that’s the distillate showing itself.
Finish: Pickled lime/floral citrus, oak, charcoal, leather/dusty
Floral punch changes things up. Goes full-on old study after working in the coal mines here. You know, like if workers were paid what they really should be. Hell at this point I’ll take half a room for a study, that’d be sweet.
Where was I? Oh, yeah: Earth, leather, oak. Nice way to finish, though I wouldn’t have argued with some butter.
Conclusion: Fun, interesting, very tasty. Not as crazy as other ex-white wine casks I’ve had, this took on those buttery Chardonnay notes as well as a bunch of the acidity.
And here I am liking it. It felt like it was all meshed together well and working together. The nose was very complex and interesting, and that sold me on it. While I wish some more of that had carried onto the finish, I wouldn’t pass up a dram of this. Heck, my wife, who notoriously doesn’t like whiskies with wine casks, and even more so doesn’t like oaked Chardonnay, had the first full dram of this and loved it.
So grab some is what I’m laying down here.
Scotch review #1202-3, Campbeltown review #61-62, Whisky Network review #1848-9