I recently tasted the 5 old Longmorn releases done by Gordon & MacPhail which were selected by Han van Wees, from the Van Wees importer and whisky specialist. One of these bottles was available to taste during the Pot Still festival last year, but it gathered such a crowd that by the time I heard its cork was popped, it was already empty.
I tasted the samples in random order since I didn’t want to work from old to oldest or the other way around. This seemed fairer to me.
Full, thick sherry with quite a lot of wood but also something fresh on the background. It does have a bit of moldy or stale edge to it that appears after a minute or so. Something like old cream. Further more, I get coffee, chocolate and mole spices. Very warm with dried plums and stewed pears.
Again, somewhat thick. The taste is rather spicy, in a very gentle way. A little hint of pepper, cinnamon and dried ginger. Not too woody and again there is something fresh in there. Mint I guess. It does get a bit less thick after having it swimming around for a bit.
The finish is a very classic sherried speysider. It does have a massive amount of wood and isn’t too long. The mint is here again as well, and milk chocolate too. The fruity notes are a bit subdued.
Well, how to rate something like this? According to other guys I spoke that have tasted it, the wood was overpowering, but I disagree for this bottle. There is a lot of wood, but not so much it dominates everything else. The mint notes are very pleasant, and the complexity of this dram is very appealing too. However, the € 400+ price tag is rather hefty…
Longmorn 1966-2011, 44 years old, Gordon & MacPhail Reserve, Selected by Van Wees, 44.3%, First Fill Sherry Butt 5063. Available at Jurgen’s Whiskyhuis for € 431.99.