Last Friday a Longmorn was hosted for members and guests of the Kings Court Whisky Society by Govert van Bodegom. He is a Dutch Longmorn collector and knows just about everything about the distillery and its whisky.
He started the tasting by giving a bit of Longmorns history and giving us all a dram of the Longmorn 16, the only original bottling.
Longmorn 16, 48%, OB
The nose is rather thin, with old fruit, a little wood and nutmeg. Also some oatmeal, cereal and biscuits. The taste is somewhat peppery and quite fierce. On the other hand, it tastes like it doesn’t really deliver. The finish has some more wood but not much happens. There is some dry grass as well.
After the introductory dram, set as a benchmark the idea was to taste 3 sets of 2 whiskies: and old and new 10 year old, an old and new 12 year old and the same for a 15 year old.
Longmorn 10 year old, 40%, Hill Thompson, 75cl, bottled around 1970
The nose started with old factory smells that reminded people of old steam trains. Oil, coal, in the background there was some light fruit, Granny Smith apples and brown sugar. It tastes old, in a good way. Some minor wood influence and it starts of very watery but builds up a nice sweetness and again the steam trains, engine grease and a coal fire. The finish adds a burnt out campfire to the mix. Quite volatile, after half an hour most of the nose and taste were gone.
Longmorn 10, Dun Eideann, 40%?
A recent bottling by Dun Eideann of which I didn’t write down enough information…
Some light vanilla and a little cream on the nose. Light fruit on the palate with some pepper and the finish didn’t do much. As a contrast to the older one this is succesful, there absolutely nothing happening here.
Longmorn 12, 40%, G&M, LGD label, 1970s
There is a LOT of sherry here, some of that factory smell is present too and adds complexity. Red fruit, strawberry and Reine Claude prunes. The taste is very warm and full. Buttery cake, slightly drying, somewhat more herbal than I expected. The finish gives a lot of sherry wood and a lot of fruit. Apricot.
Longmorn 12, 40%, G&M, current bottling
Also some sherry but a lot flatter. Quite clean with some Allstar sneakers and bananas and cream. The taste is quite dry but thin. A slightly strange taste that I can’t pinpoint. There is some mango in the finish. This would probably be a quite nice whisky in its own right, but in this tasting its just boring.
Longmorn 15, 43%, OB white label, 75cl, 1980s
Again, that factory smell is there again and some herbal paste, vegemite. Blood orange as well. The taste is buttery with sweet fruit and the finish gives herbs again. Not too sweet but very nice.
Longmorn 15, 43%, OB, bottled around 2007
This is the previous standard distillery editions and not too bad. A lot better than the current 16 year old. There is a lot of caramel on the nose, the coloring stuff and overpowers much of the other flavours. The taste is again a little peppery and dry, and the finish gives some ripe banana.
After this official part was over, Govert decided to pop out some other bottlings that he liked to share with us.
Longmorn 17, 1987-2004, Distillery Only, batch LM 17 002, 55,1%
A lot of alcohol burn on the nose that forces a lot of other smells out. Buttery cake again and cookie dough. Some fruit as well. Licorice. The taste is strong and a little viscous with soft tropical fruit. The finish is quite fruity as well. A little unaccessible but nice.
Longmorn, Scott’s Selection, 45.3%, USA bottling
This was passed around as a sample so only very short notes: Leather, dry, lots of fruit, maple syrup and canned fruit salad.
Longmorn 31, 1975-2007, 52.9%, The Whisky Fair, bourbon hogshead
Wood, cinnamon, a little vanilla, banana, cookie dough, custard and brown sugar. Sweet wood, pineapple, vanilla ice cream and creme brulee on the palate. The finish is subtle with a little dryness, some shy vanilla, woody spices like clove.
Longmorn 31, 1972-2003, 45%, Blackadder Raw Cask (USA)
Banana cream, cookie dough again, figs and some herbs. The taste is nice and sweet, soft and silky with melon. The finish gives some papaya or something like that.
Longmorn 12, 1984-1996, Cadenhead, 58.1%
This one was brought in as ‘the bad one’. It showed many signs of a too active cask, but in this case I actually quite liked it. I would have guessed it was at least 20 years old, so I was surprised that it was only 12.
This was a very good tasting and of course, a very big one. For me it was a first to have an official vertical tasting of so many whiskies of a distillery. The best whisky of the evening was the 12 year old Longmorn bottled in the 70s. Terrific stuff!