Continuing the Longrow Red series, this was released in 2015 and returned to the red wine finishes after the atypical port cask release of 2014.
This whisky was aged in bourbon barrels for 11 years then finished in fresh Pinot Noir casks for an additional year, then bottled at 52.9% without coloring or chill filtration in an outturn of 9000 bottles.
Longrow Red 12 Year Pinot Noir Cask Finish
Nose: balanced savory peat smoke and wine, floral, bubblegum, vanilla, banana? After adding a few drops of water it becomes more savory with a hint of cured meat, the peat and wine are softer and more integrated, and the malt is creamier.
Taste: wine and malt sweetness up front, gentle oak and off-dry wine in the middle, a little heat and a bump of dry malt with background peat smoke before the finish, plus more wine at the back. After dilution it becomes softer and sweeter up front, the wine is more integrated, and the peat folds into the stronger oak at the back with creamy malt undertones.
Finish: wine residue, light oak, and a touch of peat smoke
The wine in this release reads more like a fortified wine than a red wine. While some of it may be because the bottle has been open for quite a while, it comes off as simpler and far softer than the Cabernet Sauvignon with some compensation in stronger and more savory peat at full strength. Overall I liked this, especially as I think I would have gone through the bottle more easily than the Cab. With that said I don't think I'd be willing to pay the $110+ that the remaining bottles in the States appear to be going for.
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