Okay, let’s close out the month with another teenaged malt from a Speyside distillery. Unlike Monday’s Cragganmore, however, this has no wine involvement. This is a straight-up bourbon cask whisky, a Longmorn issued in Chivas’s old Cask Strength Edition series that was originally available only at their distilleries. Every whisky I’ve had in this series has been very good at the least. I’m not sure if the series is still on the go though. I’d hoped to find some releases when I visited Strathisla, Aberlour and Scapa in 2018 but didn’t see any. Anyway, I’m looking forward to this one. All the excitement about Longmorn is about older vintages from the ’60s and ’70s and contemporary Longmorn doesn’t have much of an identity—and not very much of it shows up from the indies anymore either. The few I’ve had suggest that the modern distillate could also produce real greatness if allowed to age up to 30 years or more. Of course, if any such modern Longmorns are ever released in the next few years, I won’t be able to afford them…
Longmorn 18, 1995 (53.1%; Cask Strength Edition; from my own bottle)
Nose: A big basket of fruit; no, make that a big toasted oak box of fruit (banana, apricot, lemon, peach). Just lovely. After a minute or so there’s baked apple and pastry crust. The lemon expands as it sits. Not much change with time (which I don’t mind at all). Let’s see what water does. It emphasized the lemon and brings out cereals to go with the toasted oak. Some floral sweetness too now.
Palate: As on the nose with a bit more of the toasted oak and the lemon the top note among the fruit. Very nice texture and very approachable at full strength. As on the nose, it stays remarkably consistent with time and air. Water pushes the oak back a bit and brings out muskier fruit (over-ripe peach, pineapple).
Finish: Long. The oak gets more tingly as it goes. As on the palate with water but more acidic.
Comments: This is just lovely stuff: flawless bourbon cask whisky. Very reminiscent of some Glenburgies in this series and of ex-bourbon Linkwoods and Glen Keiths of similar age/vintage as well. Just missing some extra oomph to take it into the next tier. I liked it better with a few drops of water.
Rating: 89 points