So, the competition has started. As long as I’m further up the ranking than last year I’m going to quite satisfied. Let’s see what this dram is about, since there’s nothing else to talk about right now.
Old fashioned with oranges and sherry, not too heavy but quite sharp. I get an older style of sherry from this one, like Macallan can have, and GlenDronach, Glenfarclas. Some cappuccino, light notes of vanilla, and the orange notes turn from sweet to more bitter, pithy ones.
The palate starts off pretty sharp and dry, and I think there’s quite some alcohol to it. The sherry is slightly more powerful than on the nose and the orange has lost a bit of the sweetness. Again, some creamy notes too that make me think of American oak, but then a sherry cask instead of bourbon. It’s all rather sweet, and there are hints of the all famous Christmas cake, with candied oranges, and mulled wine. Clove, cinnamon and such.
The finish mellows quickly but keeps that sweet, sherry and orange notes. Slightly heavier on the oak than before. Quite long, and the more dry, spicy sherry notes remain longest.
A pretty good start to the competition and a really tasty dram to start with. I would put my money on The Macallan, since I remember them for those orangy, sherry notes. Regarding the age, I would same mid teens since there is some oak influence, the whisky is not too sharp but the wood has not become very powerful yet. On the other hand. I remember a 21 year old that tasted very similar to this one. A rather timid, but great sherry cask could work too for that age.
The alcohol could be anywhere. The beading does remain for a little while, but not more than 10 seconds. Some 50% or so?
In the end I went for a 21 year old Macallan that I think tastes a lot like this dram. The ABV was just above 52%.
As it turned out, I only got some points for the region, as the whisky was from Longmorn distillery. A properly sherried one at that, bottled last year by Van Wees. I was slightly off by age but enough to not get any points. What I find most surprising is that the alcohol was way higher than I thought. This whisky tastes surprisingly smooth for a 57.5% drink!
Last year when these came out I didn’t buy them for some reason. I regret that now. Those are some amazing, well sherried and properly matured whiskies (there were some four casks bottled, I believe). And, interestingly, they’re in my favorite age range of their upper teens. Personally, I think in this range most whiskies have the best balance between wood influences, the influences from the previous drink that was in the cask and the character of the distillery’s spirit.
Let’s see what tomorrow brings!
Oh, and congrats to Yoav for being on top for today! Keep it up, mate!
Longmorn 17, 1996-2013, 57.5%, The Ultimate by Van Wees. Sold out.