Longrow RED 12 is the 4th installment in the Longrow RED series. I had reviewed the first one on the blog (right here) and liked it a lot. I also happened to taste the 3rd one (full maturation in port casks) and here comes the new one which deviate from the 11 years formula with additional one year as it’s 12 Year old.
But it’s not the only noteworthy change. Previous editions were fully matured (port cask) or finished for a couple of years (4 years for Cabernet Sauvignon and 5 years for the Australian Shiraz) and this 2015 edition is finished in Pinot Noir for only 1 year. How much influence can the cask impart on the whisky during a single year?
Longrow RED 12 Year Old (Pinot Noir Cask Finish) (52.9%, £65/€75/$109.99)
Nose: Light smoke and sweet peat but the wine shine through with sweet fruit notes at first and then it incorporates some sour red berries, earthy red wine notes. Not many wine tannins here probably because of the short finish period. With additional time and air exposure, it’s getting sherry-like spiciness with nutmeg and cinnamon. With water: smoke is gone, but it’s sweeter with added spiciness.
Palate: Intense, peatier than the nose, smoke, soot, dirty peat yet it stays sweet and fruity with added touch of sour red berries and pepper spiciness. With water: mellower, fruity, peat is a bit sharper yet is still sweet and with dirty edge.
Finish: Long warm finish with smoke peat and minerals topped by sweet fruit.
Thoughts: Intense and sweet, I truly didn’t expect such an bold impact from one year in a Pinot Noir casks but the casks did work very hard during all that year. It’s bold and intense, with lots of fruitiness yet keeping the Longrow smoke and peat combination. Lovely stuff and very recommended to the sweet and fruity whisky lovers.