Longmorn 21, 1992 (Faultline)

Longmorn 21, Faultline
This is the whisky that caused me to abandon my better judgement and buy an entire parcel of K&L’s exclusive selections for 2013. I’m a sucker for older Longmorn and when I saw a 21 yo Longmorn from a sherry cask offered for less than $100 I didn’t ask myself if it might possibly be too good to be true and ordered it. And then, because I am weak, I ordered a bunch of other whiskies to go with it. Some turned out to be good (this heavily peated Jura), some were okay (this Imperial), some were boring (this Bunnahabhain) and some were not good (this Bowmore). You’d think I’d have learned my lesson, but no: I bought a few more of their exclusives this Spring (those turned out much better, by the way—more on those next month).

Anyway, as you can probably guess, I did not end up being crazy about this Longmorn, but I am happy to say that it was not a disaster either.

Longmorn 21, 1992 (52.2%; sherry barrel 48437; from my own bottle)

Nose: Raisins, cola concentrate and pencil lead to start. Orange peel after that and then some caramel and a bit of toffee. Some strong rye notes emerge after that and something leafy as well. A little saltier with water but the good stuff recedes and the leafy note gets louder.

Palate: Quite woody to start (pine) with some raisiny sweetness and then a slight metallic note. On the second sip there’s more of the citrus (orange peel and lime zest) but the mellower, sweet notes promised by the nose aren’t really much in evidence. Feels hotter than the strength would imply. With a lot more time the stickier, sweet notes emerge (caramel mostly) but that metallic edge expands with it. Water pushes back the metallic note and integrates everything better but it’s somewhat indistinct.

Finish: Medium-long. Gets a little stickier as it goes but nothing really interesting emerges. With more time that leafy/metallic note hangs around longer. As on the palate with water.

Comments: The nose initially promised a lot better than this turned out to be. It’s not bad by any means but it’s a somewhat generic sherried whisky with no real character. The lesson, as always, is to not have any expectations of the older whiskies in the Faultline line, and indeed probably to not buy anything bottled by K&L that seems like it’s at too good a price to be true.

Rating: 83 points.

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