The Official Longmorn 16yo (2013)
There are many, many excellent IB’s of Longmorn, but official bottlings of this Speyside distillery are rare. Single malt whisky from Longmorn just isn’t high up on the priority list of owners Pernod-Ricard. The only one that is readily available is a 16 years old expression that I’ll review today.
The 16yo replaced the 15yo expression in 2007, which was known to connoisseurs as the ‘Hidden Jewel’ of Speyside. The new 16yo wasn’t received particularly well: it is more expensive and most people found it to be not as good as its predecessor. Since I’ve never had the 15yo, I can’t judge whether or not that is true, but I at least have to give the nod to the 16yo when it comes to packaging. Some may find it tacky, but I just love the dumpy bottle with it’s faux leather. The only thing left to do for me is to find out if the content inside it tastes as beautiful as the bottle looks.
Longmorn 16yo (48%, OB, +/-2013)
Nose: Honey, caramel, light citrus and oranges. Also some fresh apples and pears, salted peanuts and an overall maltiness. All very pleasant aroma’s. But that is just one side of the nose, because there’s also a certain metallic quality, accompanied by minerals, tree bark and dirt.
Taste: Gone is the fruitiness. Enter the spices, mainly aniseed and white pepper. There’s also an omnipresent bitterness, maybe grapefruit? But all of the aforementioned is overshadowed by an unpleasant sourness that I can’t quite place.
Finish: The sourness from the palate translates into a finish with a strange aftertaste. But the finish is very long and that aftertaste finally transforms into raisins, green apples and pears.
This is a whisky that has its good elements. It starts very well, than has a below-par middle, but ends on a positive note. It feels like the different casks used for this batch don’t blend particularly well. Certainly not a bad whisky, but there are plenty of better IB’s out there.
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.