Longmorn 34, 1976 (Malts of Scotland)

Continuing with my run (more of a jog really) of older malts, here is a Longmorn from the mid-1970s. Longmorns of this era have a very strong reputation, especially on account of their intensely fruity quality. As that fruity profile—especially from ex-bourbon casks—is perhaps currently my favourite, I have high hopes of this sample which I received in a transcontinental swap some years ago.

Let’s see if those hopes will be borne out.

Longmorn 34, 1976 (51.5%; Malts of Scotland; bourbon hogshead #5892; from a sample received in a swap)

Nose: Toasted oak and caramel at first with some candied orange peel behind. As it sits there are richer notes of brandied raisins and apricot jam. As it sits rich notes of pastry crust develop and the oak moves in the direction of wood glue. A drop of water pulls out some mothballs and some bready notes. 

Palate: A little subdued on arrival but fruit (citrus) and malt expand as I swallow. Nice texture at full strength. With time the oak expands and the fruit doesn’t really have much to say. Let’s see if water brings more of it out. Nope; instead the oak get sharper and spicier.

Finish: Medium-long. A nice blend of toasted oak and rich fruit which gets the upper hand and develops tropical accents as it fades. As on the palate with water except a little bitter as well.

Comments: I liked this a lot on the nose but the palate never quite lived up to its initial promise. This is no exuberant fruit bomb. Not every 1970s Longmorn was a world-beater. Still a very good whisky, of course.

Rating: 87 points.

Thanks to Teemu S. for the sample.

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