Refill Oloroso 2018 Limited Edition Release
At a bottle share, a friend and I started talking about sulphur after sharing a dram of a PX cask matured Laphroaig. I felt like this Laphroaig smelled like shoe insoles and I was explaining how I was rather unsure what sulphur tastes like in a whisky. The comments on one of my Kilkerran reviews lead me to believe I just might enjoy those notes or at least they affect me differently.
He shared with me a sample of this Longrow and described it as a wonderful expression with sulphur. Longrow already is quite enjoyable to me so I was curious how this might play out knowing that tidbit of info. This review is half exploration and half interpretation of how I experience sulphur in a whisky.
Age: 14 Years.
Cask type: Refill Oloroso.
Color: 1.6, Mahogany. Non-Chill Filtered.
Tasted neat in an Glencairn glass with 15+ minutes of rest. Small amount of dilution was added with additional rest of about half an hour.
Nose: An earthy and nutty peat is the first noticeable around them. Roasted chestnuts, rehydrated mushrooms, and rice. Beneath that lyrics a sour cherry brandy or cordial like Polish Wiśniówka. At times it smelled of communion wine, which I guess is just grape juice. Dried white grapes and a citrus note closer to a furniture polish scent more so than fresh fruit. Lovely baking spices of cinnamon, toasted cloves, dried ginger powder, and peppercorns. The dense oak reminds me of flat root beer soda. Lastly a slight ashy note and a bit of metallic brass even.
Palate: A clean medicinal peat smoke with a touch of saline catches your palette. Grassy and fragrant grilled wild onions, charred fennel, and smoked paprika. Grapefruit bitter pith and again a flavor I would describe as a cherry brandy. Leather and barrel char. Some cacao and espresso beans bring a dirty and earthy element. As time goes on more of the savory elements become easier to pick out. Smoked Gouda and gamey venison jerky. Duck fat fried potatoes and roasted game hens.
Finish: Medicinal flavors build on the finish like raspberry cough syrup and sour cranberries. Charcoal embers, leather finishing oil, and shoe polish. A barley bread flavor like a hearty, dense breakfast loaf with a cup of black cold brew coffee to rinse it down. Dark and rich fruits with notes of raisins, prunes, and black currants. Culminates into a fruited nut bread of sorts. Lastly, a very slight finishing salt savory element as the long peat lingers with some of the tannic oak.
Looking over a couple of reviews on Whisky Base, I notice a lot of positive comments despite clearly picking out sulphurous notes like burnt matchstick heads. I’ve gotten that note before in a whiskey and perhaps my slight ashy flavor note was that gunpowder element.
Where that Kilkerran might have turned a few away, I think the sulphur elements here could be that gamey savory flavor intertwined with the sour fruits. I’m not completely sure but this was a delight to explore and experience. This was indeed a fantastic representation of a sulphured whisky.
Overall I found this quite enjoyable and would gladly buy a bottle. Savory peat combined with a tannic and dark wine is a winning combination in my book.
Final Score: 93