Taste: Longrow Red Australian Shiraz Cask

Before I launch into this review an apology, as I had promised my verdict on the Longrow in October but have fallen slightly short. Excuses aside hopefully it is worth the wait and seeing how this bottle arrived at retail towards the end of September not too much of hindrance.

The Longrow Red Australian Shiraz or as I fondly call it the crazy cask release from Longrow is the 2013 edition. Each year they entertain us and stretch our minds with something a little different. I first tasted this malt before its release at the 2013 Edinburgh Whisky Fringe event and was impressed, partially because it dared to be different amongst a hall of predictable whiskies. Since August I’ve tasted it at the Cadenhead Edinburgh shop and promptly purchased a bottle; I was going to anyway but a wee reminder to reinforce my selection is always welcome!
For those unaware of the Longrow malt, for 48 hours it is dried over a peat fire infusing it with obvious smoky characteristics. This heavily peated malt is produced in limited quantities each year at the Springbank distillery; in all under a 100 casks are laid down. Before the team dreams up some interesting releases for us in future years.
Distillery: Springbank/Longrow
: 11 years
Distilled: 2002
Bottled: 2013
Limited Edition of
: 9000 bottles
: 53.7%
Cask: Refill bourbon hogsheads (6 years) & first fill Shiraz hogsheads (5 years)
Additional: Not chill filtered, no added colouring

Colour: Amber
Nose: The smoky aspect is present but it has been swallowed up almost by the berry sweetness. Cherries, dark chocolate, almonds, cream soda, honey and oranges; a dessert lovers paradise!
Mouth: An explosion of sweetness really including marzipan and also some exclusive touches such as ginger. A lingering dry finish, which I find unusual and yet, refreshing. 

Verdict: This benefits from a small touch of water. After experimenting I settled on 2 teaspoons to suit my palate. At 53.7% it is drinkable straight but the sweetness dominates the dram. The addition of water provides some breathing space and through those gaps comes the rich peat. 

This Longrow is a dram you should keep until the end of the evening. When you’re wanting to sit back, relax and delve into another interesting dimension. The sweetness for me means that I wouldn’t see myself sitting down to a couple of these in one evening; I’d probably have a burst of energy from the sugar rush. No, one is enough before finishing the evening with a dramatic peat monster finale.

I’ve taken the opportunity to use a new template for whiskyrover.co.uk and whiskyrover.eu which I’m pleased with. Teething issues – fingers crossed – will be kept to a minimum.


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