Saturday, February 3, 2024

Longrow Red Cabernet Franc Matured 11 Year Peated Campbeltown Single Malt Scotch

- $150
- 111.8 Proof
- 11 years
- Campbeltown

The Longrow Red series has long been my favorite "series" or annual release, probably in all of whiskey/whisky. In fact, it was the Pinot Noir Cask that I had back in 2017 that turned me on to wine finished, peated scotches, and my insatiable love for sweet and peat!! Ever since then I've made it a point to get my hands on and try anything fruity and peaty that I can find.

While most of those are matured in either sherry or port (port tends to be my favorite), this one was matured in Cabernet Franc barrels. I'm certainly no wine guy, so I have no opinion on or experience with cabernet franc. But, given that I absolutely loved the Malbec Longrow Red, and I know that I don't particularly like Malbecs, I figured I couldn't go wrong with this one either. 

Right up front on the nose I got those rich fruit notes I've come to expect from these bottlings. It was full of bright raspberry and black currant. There was a light smokiness to it as well, along with some black pepper spice on the back end. It had a bit of a sweet barbecue note and I could not wait to dive into it.

The flavor was full of rich, fruity notes, but not quite as bright as on the nose. It leaned more dark fruits like blackberry and plum. It was sweetened, however, by a great honey note. That was all underscored by a malty backbone that came across like a honey wheat bread, but a good one, like the kind you'd buy from a bakery.

The peat smoke was there but not pervasive. Like most Campbeltown Scotches, it doesn't slap you in the face the way an Islay might. But it was still there to provide that great balance and "meatiness" to accompany the sweet and fruity notes. There was also a white peppercorn type spice, particularly on the back end. 

The finish reminded me a lot of sangria. It had the rich wine flavors, with dark fruit notes and a bit of tannins to counter the sweetness, which came from a bright orange note that seemed to appear out of nowhere. The finish wasn't particularly long, but the flavors were absolutely delicious!

Unsurprisingly, I loved this bottle, and I can't wait to work my way through the rest of the lineup sitting on my shelf.

Grade: A

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