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Friday, December 20, 2019

Longrow 15 year old 2001 Refill Chardonnay Cask

Recently a whisky score of 87 upset someone, so I'm glad no one banned me from Campbeltown after I rated the new 18 and 21 year old Longrows merely very good. Now let's see what kind of damage I can do today.

Secret Agent Man and I thoroughly discussed today's whisky when it was released two years ago. I really wanted to buy a bottle, but The Party Source was slinging this 15yo for nearly $200. So I passed on it. Secret Agent Man did not, and he shared a sample of the whisky with me last month.

There was no quickie finish forced upon this whisky, instead it had a Cadenhead-esque double maturation, spending its last nine years in a refill chardonnay cask. I like the "refill" word and I'm intrigued by the "Chardonnay" part since Glen Moray's old 10yo Chardonnay Cask was surprisingly solid. Lemme see how this one turned out.

The data:

The nose starts with roasted nuts in toffee, then Corn Nuts and bacon smoke. Hints of lemons and tangerines just beneath. The cask is much more present on the palate. In fact, it reads like a Sauternes cask. Floral, mineral and sweet. Midori and applesauce. Candy corn and fizzy ginger ale. The sweet and creamy finish holds ginger ale, oranges and roses.

DILUTED TO ~46%abv, or 1¼ teaspoons of water per 30mL whisky
Oranges, wood smoke and kiln ash on the nose. Then toasted oak, saline and anise. The palate does change much. Its fruit (nectarine) and floral (rose) notes seem to be coming from the wine. Still sweet, a little tangier and very little peat. The finish is also sweet and tangy, less floral, more peppery.

That was one really active refill cask, or perhaps it was aggressively seasoned? The wine just rolled right over the spirit. I've never had a chardonnay as sweet as this, though I usually only drink French chardonnay.

*dodges thrown pans*

*ducks a thrown orange toupée*

*never leaves the house again*

Like I mentioned in the notes, this is really for Sauternes fans. And for people with sweeter teeth than mine. I like the whisky better once it's diluted as some Longrow character comes out in the nose, and the palate's fruit is less candied. I wonder what the whisky was like after six years in the wine cask, or one year really. There's a 17 year old chardonnay cask Longrow on the market now. That one terrifies me. Am I the only person interested in a 17 year old refill bourbon cask Longrow?

Availability - Secondary market, maybe?
Pricing - ???
Rating - 80 (with water)

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