Longmorn 1996 17 Years Old (Van Wees)
This Longmorn 1996 17 Years Old bottled by Van Wees is somewhat of a legendary whisky among us people from The Netherlands. A whole series of these heavily sherried Longmorns was released in 2013 and 2014, all of them from sherry butts, and all of them selling as hotcakes.
A total of 6 or 7 casks were released for the Dutch market. Despite this being a few years ago, we were way past whisky’s age of innocence already. So when a well-aged sherry-matured Longmorn hits the market for 60 euro – a very good price then, a ridiculous price now – me and most of my fellow whisky enthusiasts jumped on the opportunity.
I already reviewed two others from this series, both very nice whiskies. Now let’s find out how this one fares.
Longmorn 1996 17 Years Old (57,2%, Van Wees, C#72319)
Nose: A sherry bomb in the truest sense. Big on the dark chocolate, but also cherry syrup, ripe banana peel, and prunes. There’s some powdered coffee too, as well as a touch of menthol and some furniture polish. Finally a whiff of soy sauce. A monster…
Taste: Very dry, lots of tannins. But also aniseed, raisins, leather, cigar tobacco and milk chocolate. Big on the spices, with plenty of cloves and cinnamon. Subtle it isn’t, but water isn’t necessary per se. A few drops does make it slightly creamier though.
Finish: Drying, with cough syrup, spices and raisins.
It is quite aggressive and big, but also well-balanced (except for that dryness on the palate) and complex. Not for the faint of heart, but most sherry lovers will certainly appreciate this.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.