Two Longrow Red 11 YO - 2013 vs 2014
Longrow is peated Springbank, in other words a Campbeltown whisky. For the past three years they have released 11 year old Longrow expressions matured in different wine casks. In 2012 the whisky was matured in Cabernet Sauvignon casks, a release I have not yet tried. I have, however, tried the two latest ones, and here are my tasting notes.
Longrow Red 11 YO - Australian Shiraz Cask (2013), 53,7 %
The first Longrow Red 11 YO has been matured for an initial six years in refill bourbon hogsheads, then the liquid was transferred to Australian Shiraz hogsheads and matured for a further five years. This was a limited release of 9000 bottles.
This expression is still available to buy in Norway at NOK 775 (item number 1100801). It is not available in Sweden.
Nose (21/25): Massive peat, freshly baked bread, chocolate, salt and berries. The peat is bordering on overpowering here. A bit too dominant maybe?
Taste (22/25): Swoosh! Where did all the peat go? Now we have a mix of light fruits, even more fresh berries, and pepper. After a a sip or two the peat does make an appearance, but not by far as strong as on the nose.
Finish (21/25): Sugary sweet, still a lot of berries, now mixed with caramel, licorice and light herbal notes. There's a faint hint of the 'farmland' notes I often associate with Springbank. Medium long and warm finish.
Balance (21/25): A fun dram with clear cask influence. The berries do carry through all the way.
Longrow Red 11 YO - Fresh Port Casks (2014), 51,8 %
The Longrow Red 11 YO - Fresh Port Casks is not yet released in Norway or Sweden, but is expected to be on sale some time during the first quarter of 2015. You can buy it online though, and the price is about GBP 52.
[2014-11-14] This whisky is now available in Norway at NOK 775 (item number 1858701).
Nose (22/25): Fresh and distinct sweetness. Relatively mild on the peat, especially compared to the 2013 edition. The 'farmland' notes are present if subdued. Not much else going on here, but the peat and the sweet port wine notes are well balanced and integrated.
Taste (22/25): More heavy on the peat now, dryish - cold ashes. Sweet berries, salt and slight herbal notes. A bit grassy.
Finish (20/25): Drier still at first, with the peat lingering. Then it turns more sugary sweet, with some summer fruits in the mix. Long and warm finish.
Balance (21/25): Quite different from the previous edition. The score ends up the same, but I do think I prefer the 2014 edition. The finish is the only let down, other than that this is a very nice dram.
Images from The Whisky Exchange.
Sláinte! - Thomas