This is a 14 year expression from Longrow that was matured in a ‘Fresh Madeira’ cask and bottled at 50% ABV.
Nose: Peat with a strong mineral spirits note. Dry/brittle oak with a tiny hint of raisins, and slightly skunky overall. A bizarre nose that doesn’t come together for me and doesn’t show much of the madeira maturation.
Palate: The Madeira arrives with a sweet, raisiny type edge to the heavy peat. Varnish notes go away thankfully. Little to no oak here – the peat is dominant.
Finish: Red grapes, peat ash, and dry oak.
Rating: 78/100 – I’ve had such spotty luck with Madeira maturation/finishes. Sometimes it seems it has so little effect on the malt compared to a typical sherry finish. The nose was a letdown for me on this one, but thankfully it got better as it went on.
Value for the money: These retailed for around $130 when they came out, but I’d pass at that price. You’ll pay more for Longrows/Springbanks in general compared to other malts their age, but sometimes it’s worth it. If you want wine influenced Longrow – go to the Red series instead at around $80.