Here is another of the excellent old Longmorns released by Scott’s Selection in the early-mid 2000s. I’ve previously reviewed the great 1968-2003 and now here is one distilled a year earlier and bottled a year later. Until a couple of years ago these bottles could be found relatively easily at reasonable prices, but now they seem to be mostly gone, and what’s left seems to have largely had its price hiked. So it goes.
I opened this bottle for the gathering for my friend Rich’s birthday in September, the one that yielded the samples of the Clynelish Manager’s Dram and the Talisker 30s (plus some others yet to be reviewed). And it was as good as I remember it being from the one previous occasion that I’d got to taste it.
But enough futile talk: I’d like to taste it again.
Longmorn-Glenlivet 1967-2004 (53%; Scott’s Selection; from my own bottle)
Nose: Polished wood and a gigantic basket of assorted fruit: there’s waxy lemon peel, orange rind, ripe apricots, overripe bananas, a touch of mango and a bit of pineapple in syrup. Some roasted malt below all the fruit and expanding honey as well. The wood gets a little bit dusty as it sits and the apricot moves to the top of the fruit basket. With even more time there are some lovely floral notes as well (unfortunately, I don’t really know my flowers). A touch of white pepper too now. With a lot more time the mango comes up top with the apricot and there’s toffee and shortbread too now. With water the nose brightens up a fair bit at with more acidic fruit—lemon first and then kaffir lime peel—but then transitions to hints of berries and cream.
Palate: Starts out with the citrus (lemon) and then the whole damned fruit basket explodes on my tongue, turning muskier as it goes and picking up a bit of salt. Lovely, rich mouthfeel—almost velvety. On the second sip the wood is a little more apparent; more pepper too. The wood gets more assertive with every sip but it’s very far from being astringent or in any way offensive—mostly it provides a nice frame for the fruit. Okay, time to add some water. As on the nose, sweeter fruit emerges. And the wood gets pushed back. Here’s the strawberries and cream now. After more time the lemon starts coming back again.
Finish: Long. Fruit, fruit, fruit—the tropical notes come to the front, with mango presiding. More of the white pepper here too. Even longer with water and sweeter, as on the palate. The wood emerges late along with some milk chocolate.
Comments: Just a glorious nose with all the fruit and the nice interplay with the wood. It’s a similar story on the palate but a tad less complex. But at this level there’s not much point picking nits. Lovely stuff, and I wish I’d bought a second bottle when I easily could have. I think I preferred it without water—it got just a little too sweet on the palate.
Rating: 91 points.