Longrow Red 13 Cabernet Sauvignon

Thanks to devoz for this sample.

So if you’re new to this, let me let you in on a yearly tradition: We all grease ourselves up, and then jump… Wait, I’m being called by my lawyer and they say I should skip that particular tradition in the public discourse.

So otherwise you may have seen Longrow Red pop up here or there. Each year we receive a cask strength, non-single cask Longrow that has been aged and then finish for a few years in a wine cask. A red wine cask, or a fortified wine cask (that happens to be red as well).

So far I’ve caught up and enjoyed them, and frankly it’s one of my favourite releases of the year. So far. For all we know they screw it up next year.

Last year (Canada is behind on releases) we saw Longrow Red 13 Cabernet Sauvignon, a cask strength Longrow aged in Bourbon & Sherry casks, then finished in Chilean Cab. Sauvignon casks (a red wine).

It’s peat, sherry, and red wine, with some bourbon in the mix. I should enjoy it, but let’s see how it did, shall we?

Price: € 125

Region: Campbeltown

Bottled: 2020

Cask Type: Bourbon & Sherry then Chilean Cab. Sauvignon

No. of bottles: 9,000

Abv: 51.6%

Colour: 5YR 6/10

Nose: Charred citrus, red licorice, dandelion/manure, candied orange

Immediate seared flavour. And if you don’t like burnt things, then take a long look in the mirror, as it’s part of cooking. Acidic, sweet, floral/farmy, and lots of different takes on orange.

Just a touch of anise here. Make a note of that later.

Taste: Chocolate/anise candy, sea salt, grapefruit, brown butter

Well developed peat comes out in chocolate and anise, like Nordic candy (don’t mock it till you try it). Nutty, salty, and some powerful acidity going on as well, and completely balanced. Though anise is the star.

Dammit just realized that was a pun. I hate myself for that. Moving on…

Finish: Cocoa, musty, grapefruit, smoke, anise, charcoal

Simpler finish, though the anise and cocoa notes as well as nice acidity and balance really overcome the lack of complexity that we had compared to the taste and nose.

Conclusion: Anise heavy strong dram. And I love anise. I really do, and I’m not going to lie: It’s making me biased on this dram, simply put. It’s a lovely balance on acidity and sweets, it has some well developed peat notes, and some surprising aspects to it as well.

Don’t like anise? Then it’s probably going to not be as fun for you. It’s earth as well, so that may shift your thoughts. Nonetheless if you typically enjoy Longrow Red or just Longrow or just peat and red wine, then this is an easy pickup.

85/100

Scotch review #1355, Campbeltown review #73, Whisky Network review #2030

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