The first out of 3 of drams finished in wine casks i am about to review this week is the Longrow finished in Gaja Barolo casks. A little about Gaja if you are not a wine drinker : Gaja is a famous Italian wine producer form the Piemonte regions in northern Italy which produces mostly Barolo and Barbaersco wines. The Barolo wine is made from Nebbiolo grapes (named after ‘fog’ since the grapes are harvested in October.) The Nebbiolo grape is also considered a ‘noble’ grape.
‘Longrow’ is the heavily peated line of whiskies made in the Springbank distillery (the other being Springbank which is lightly peated and Hazelburn which is not peated at all)
This whisky was aged for 7 years in Ex-Bourbon casks and then finished for 1.5 years in the Ex-Barolo wine casks which give this peaty youngster a good match and complement it nicely as we’re about to see in my notes.
Colour: Dark gold.
Nose: Sweet, Earthy peat. Red fruit. dried Grapes. Smoke , BBQ smoke to be more specific.. A little citrus. Pepper
Palate: Spicy. Winey and Smokey sweet. Very very good. The wine does not overpower this strong and virile youngster of a dram, but adds a very nice layer. Some peppers , Earthy peat. Leather. Chilly and Sugary at the same time. A delight. I absolutely love this one. One of the best peat-wine combinations I’ve had (since of course Octomore 2.2)
Finish: Long. Peppery sweet and smoke galore. Raisins. Peat. Long and powerful. You can not ask for more.
An excellent example of how a wine finish can complement and mix with a whisky without masking the malt flavours too much. This young Longrow just loves the wine cask , and it interacts with it beautifully. A real match made in heaven. I love this one, and sadly my wish list just got longer.