06.19.18 | Longrow 9 Year Single Cask – Sauternes Cask

Scotch Whisky

This is the sort of review I love, a review of a whisky from my favorite distillery, Springbank. Why do I love these reviews? Well my friends, Springbank just rolls out fucking bangers time after time, so I know I’m most likely in for an absolute treat. None of their whiskies sniff 40% abv (call me out on this I’m wrong) and damnit, I respect the hell out of that. There are three lines that all come from the Springbank Distillery in Campbeltown, Scotland: Springbank, Hazelburn, and Longrow.

We are talking Longrow today, which is their peated line of single malts. Their Longrow sees the bulk of their wine cask outturns such as their Red releases that all find their lives spent in red wine casks, along with a chardonnay single cask, and the whisky of the hour today, Sauternes Cask.

I get this question a lot, so what is Sauternes wine? Sauternes is from the Sauternais region of Bordeaux and is a sweet dessert white wine that develops its sweet and complex profile from a funky little thing called Noble Rot. I know what you are thinking and yes, its a fungus. I am no scientist, so all I know is that its a fungus that makes heaven in a glass. However, due to the complexity of getting that Noble Rot just right and the grapes having to raisinate the yields of Sauternes are not huge. I’m not sure if that is why you don’t see a lot of Sauternes cask finished whiskies, but my guess is that the casks carry a bit higher of a price premium than your reds and fortified wines.

Sauternes wine itself is incredibly delicious and complex so I would recommend to anyone that is curious about it to just grab a bottle for yourself and experience all the flavors it possesses. Better yet though, Sauternes casks work absolute magic with peated scotches (I highly recommend the Kilchoman Sauternes Cask for all my peat lovers out there). The sweetness and complexity of fruit take a good peated scotch to an entirely different level, so with that let’s just get after this review of the Longrow 9 Year Single Cask – Sauternes Cask!

The dirty details:

  • 9 Year – distilled in November 2007
  • 58% abv
  • First Fill Sauternes Cask
  • 252 bottles
  • $120 price tag

Color: In the glass, the whiskey is a light amber color. Really good looking development from the cask. Nice and oily as I would expect and has long sexy legs that go for miles.

Nose: The nose opens with a nice maltiness and sweet cereal. A lot of Sauternes cask influence shows its face with a nice inherent sweetness – sugar cane and candied grapes. The sweetness calms and the peat enters in subtly like a slowly burning fire on a coast side. Moist and peppery with some wet grass funk.

Palate: This bad boy starts out with some super barnyard funk. Lots of wet earth begins on the palate that opens into some really interesting charred citrus. The sugar is still present and intertwines with the peat and barrel to create a flavor similar to charred sugar atop a creme brulee and a toasted marshmallow. A light breeze of saline coastal spray provides that additional underlying layer of the ocean.

Finish: The sweetness of the palate keeps running on the finish. The smoke continues to dwindle into a perfumey floral smoldering fire. The richness of the finish is strong with notes of marzipan, sweet red apples, and ladyfingers. A dry aromatic tobacco coats the back of the throat and there were lingering coastal flavors of oysters with sweet shaved ice atop them.

Well, this Longrow 9 Year Single Cask was fan-fucking-tastic. The Sauternes cask provides an incredibly rich and sweet finish that just excels with the light smoke and coastal notes of this Campbeltown banger. There are a ton of complexities that are working in complete tandem with one another. Prepare your palate for a roller coaster of flavor as the different flavor layers will come and go as you drink it. The Longrow 9 Year Single Cask is a whisky that’ll reward you with something new every time you sit down with it. Approach with an open mind and a ready palate. I mean this in an absolutely not snobby way, but this isn’t no beginner single malt, no training wheels here. Happy flavor hunting my friends!

Score: 9/10

This bottle was purchased by me and as always, the words and opinions are all my own

06.04.2018 | Adventurous Stills Mesquite Whiskey

American Whiskey

Today I am breaking out a one-off limited edition release from the Adventurous Stills out of Tempe, Arizona. This special bottle is their Mesquite Whiskey, which from what I’m told will be made again someday, but they have other crazy ideas to chase first!

Adventurous Stills is a very cool group of three partners that are taking the craft distillery business very serious. They are truly hands-on when it comes to making spirits and what I mean by this is that they literally built their own copper stills, mash tun, and basically everything else! Aside from this, they are making grain to bottle whiskey without ever sourcing their distillate. This is what craft distilling is all about, three people making award-winning spirits all by hand. Remember to always hug your craft distillers!

Now I am a bit of a mesquite fanatic, I just really f****** love the flavor of mesquite. There seems to be a growing amount of mesquite whiskeys on the market and so far they all have had different processes for being produced. As for the Mesquite Whiskey from Adventurous Stills, the process is quite simple and guaranteed to produce big flavor. Throw some mesquite wood on the grill, char it up, put it in the whiskey, and let time do its work.

I am unaware if anyone has or if it is even possible to make a barrel out of mesquite, but I would be curious to hear about if that is a thing if any of y’all know!

No need to waste time lets dig into it!

Here are the specs:

  • Age Unknown
  • 50% abv
  • $40 price tag

Color: In the glass, the whiskey is a chestnut orange. Extremely slow legs. Per the distillery, there is no added coloring, so based on the color it is evident that there was some serious interaction with the mesquite wood.

Nose: When going into nose this bad boy the mesquite is extremely evident and is quite rich. The nose had more complexity on it after opening up than I was initially expecting. After giving it some resting time I found candied bacon, caramel covered apples, and wood shavings. A very interesting and perplexing nose. The richness of the mesquite is a bit overpowering in my opinion, but once you begin being able to work past it there are certainly some fun scents going on!

Palate: Alright, I’m not sure if this whiskey is taking ME back to certain nights during my college days at the University of Colorado, Boulder… BUT… on my first taste, I swear I was tasting a handful of Lays Barbeque Chips (Snoop Dogg claims these to be the best munchies), which isn’t a bad thing at all just quite a surprising experience from a whiskey. After that flashback, there is a lot of burnt wood, charcoal, and butterscotch. I picked up on a slight bit of black pepper and leather, but the mesquite is a bit overpowering on the palate. The palate is where this whiskey falls the shortest, it’s just pretty damn intense. Right now its an 11 on the stereo volume when it could probably do better at a 7 or 8.

Finish: The early preview of spice on the palate comes out on the finish with a dry rub of black pepper, chili powder, seasoned salt, and brown sugar. The finish lingers for a while with an aromatic perfume of smoldering mesquite that stays on the palate. Word of advice, similar to a peated whisky I would drink this one last if part of a tasting. There is a lot of savoriness that coats the mouth after this, but I would say the lasting flavor on the finish was my favorite part of the whiskey!

The Adventurous Stills Mesquite Whiskey is an absolute trip. Imagine taking a big ol slab of peppered bacon and throwing it over a smoker full of mesquite, and that is pretty close to what you are getting with this whiskey. For myself, this was absolutely one of the most savory whiskeys I’ve ever had and being a mesquite head it filled my bbq’ing soul with joy! One thing that I appreciate most about the whiskey and through talking to the folks at the distillery is that you can taste that they had fun making this whiskey. The folks at Adventurous Stills had a vision for this one and went for it, and really created a one of a kind whiskey. This whiskey certainly reinforces the name of this Arizona distillery!

That damn finish… still just tasting finger-licking good bbq in my mouth!

Score: 7/10

This bottle was purchased by me and as always, the words and opinions are all my own